Like a rat out of an aqueduct, dashing Daryl Williams is departing from Federal politics. The one time Attorney General, who realised it was necessary to destroy our freedoms in order to save them, has decided to retire for "family reasons".
It wouldn't be because his erstwhile boss is increasingly looking like a headless chook? Or that the national telecommunications company is fast descending into a parody of some American soap opera? Or that he wants to pocket his modest parliamentary entitlements?
No, gregarious Daryl is retiring because of "family reasons".
His notice extends to election day, which shows this government's commitment to the communications sector. Who better to leave in charge of cutting edge technological developments than a lame duck minister who has been out to lunch for as long as anyone can remember?
Which is why he has been at the forefront of the government's response to the resignation of fellow Tool Bob Mansfield. Well, he would, but he appears a bit indisposed at the moment, you see. Which is why the PM seems to be taking most of the questions for the time being.
Yes, Williams is well suited in the communications portfolio; we never hear peep out of the joker. This, of course, saves the government from having to actually engage this troubling policy area. A tradition started by William's predecessor, the equally enigmatic Richard Alston.
While some may accuse Daryl of being born with a silver spoon in his mouth the truth is he was born with a whole cutlery service. Daryl Williams legal pedigree has seen him approach the bar on many occasions.
Alarmingly, Williams was made a member of the National Security Committee, which may help to explain the current international situation Australia finds itself in.
His diverse portfolio has allowed him to conduct witch-hunts at bodies such as the ABC, SBS, the National Museum of Australia, thus saving us from the threat of imminent Marxist takeover. He has also done a good job keeping a straight face about the National Office for Information Economy.
When he was Attorney General Daryl busied himself with ensuring that the Federal Government tackled the big issues, such as trying three times, unsuccessfully, to bust up a transsexual marriage.
He also made sure it was quite OK for the United States to throw out every principle of jurisprudence in its dealings with Australian citizens.
While some churlish individuals have claimed that Williams has done nothing since he took over the Communications portfolio this is not entirely true.
Williams loves to play the piano and has entertained his staff with some wonderful work tickling the ivories, as well as exhibiting a sound understanding of the nuanced area of wine appreciation.
Some allege that this has allowed Williams to help his leader break records in wine consumption during his tenure, and surely the Communications portfolio will suffer from not having Daryl tickling the ivories and leading the sing-alongs.
No doubt our Tool Of the Week can keep up his Good Time Charlie routine in the Tool Shed, just be a good chap and pass another bottle of the Bollinger in will you?
Defence officials this week released an "internal" and previously secret report from Colonel Richard Tracey that purported to shoot down findings of a military inquiry into complaints lodged by intelligence officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Lance Colllins.
The internal inquiry, conducted by Vietnam veteran and long-serving naval officer Captain Martin Toohey, had vindicated Collins and found that key intelligence agencies delivered biased information which the government wanted to hear.
Those findings, against the background of Iraq and Bali, spelled bad news for a Federal Government already under fire for allegedly intimidating key advisers, including AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty.
But Tracey's report, penned in February, said Toohey had "miscarried" on the grounds of "jurisdictional authority" and a "lack of evidence to substantiate the findings".
Colonel Richard Tracey is, in fact, Dick Tracey, QC, the lawyer who pocketed $861,990, before expenses, for leading Melbourne hearings of the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry.
CFMEU national secretary, John Sutton, said Tracey had been "unimpressive" in that capacity.
"He made his political disposition abundantly clear. He is a rusted on supporter of the Howard Government and its political ideology," Sutton said.
Tracey and Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terence Cole, a navy commodore in his spare time, were key movers in the failed criminal prosecution of Victorian CFMEU secretary, Martin Kingham.
Having recommended charges under the Royal Commissions Act, Tracey then appeared in the Melbourne Magistrate's Court as a prosecution witness against Kingham.
One charge was withdrawn and, after hearing from Tracey, Magistrate John Hardy dismissed the remaining contempt count.
Hardy's finding contained implicit criticisms of both the part-time colonel and occasional commodore.
In pressing the action, the Magistrate said Cole and Tracey had relied on "the tenor of the evidence rather than the actual evidence".
The Defence Department leaked Tracey's critique, this week, after a string of Lieutenant-Colonel Collins' criticisms of intelligence performances were made public.
It did not, however, release another internal review of the Toohey Inquiry, understood to have been conducted by Colonel Roger Brown and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, "believed to be broadly supportive" of Toohey's findings.
A Defence Department media officer told Workers Online, last Thursday, she was "unaware" of a second review of the Toohey Inquiry.
Tracey addressed the 24th national conference of the right wing, HR Nicholls Society, at Melbourne’s upmarket Mercure Hotel, last May.
For many guests the weekend's highlight was the presentation of the organisation's Charles Copeman Medal, commemorating a Robe River strikebreaker, to anti-union activist, Len Buckeridge.
Buckeridge joined the architect of the Howard Government's industrial relations policy and phone card rorter, Peter Reith, as a recipient of the organisation's top individual gong.
Buckeridge, whose companies turn over hundreds of millions of dollars annually, confirmed he had drawn up the union death list. He said it came in response to having been threatened by "a sub-normal little thug".
Buckeridge admitted he had been placed on a two-year good behaviour bond after being charged with assaulting a union activist. He attributed that reverse to "some left wing magistrate".
West Australian police confirmed that at the time of the HR Nicholls Award, Buckeridge's hit list boast was under investigation.
Tracey spoke to Society members about the work of the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry, and the rule of law.
His contribution was described as "excellent" by leading HR Nicholls Society activist, Des Moore, in a conference review for members. In the same paper, Moore said Buckeridge had demonstrated employers' ability to "maintain their freedom to choose who to employ if they are determined to take positive action ..."
"There are perhaps some parallels here between Len Buckeridge and George W Bush, an analogy that could appeal to the Prime Minister," Moore wrote.
Last ditch appeals to intervene at the IRC on Therese Martin’s behalf were brushed by Government representatives, although Canberra had intervened in recent hearings on behalf of employers.
Martin, the mother of three children aged eight to 13, told Workers Online she would be forced onto a pension if the Commission didn't strike out Salmat's move to make her work night shifts at its Wagga Wagga call centre.
"I want to work but my children are my first priority," she said. "We live 15km out of town and I am not prepared to leave them at home by themselves at night.
"As a mother, I think it is important to be there for my kids and to supervise them. They are good kids but anything can happen if you are not there for them."
Martin began work at Salmat after the company agreed to her request for 3.15pm finishes. When hours across the centre were moved back, she agreed to start later and finish at 3.45 but, just before Easter, she was told she would have to go onto rosters finishing as late as 9pm.
Martin said she had only accepted the job in the first place because Salmat specifically advertised its "family friendly" credentials, and called for applications from women who wanted part part-time work.
A union delegate with the USU, she says she was called into the manager's office and told "poor performance" was behind the forced change in hours.
The following day she received a certificate for "excellence in customer service" signed by her supervisor.
The USU appealed for Government intervention, through the office of Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrew.
"The Prime Minister says balancing work and family is the biggest ongoing social debate of our time and a real barbecue stopper," USU executive president Michael Want said.
"We gave him the chance to put his money where his mouth was and do something positive to help a single mother trying to balance her responsibilities and, so far, nothing.
"The government has intervened on behalf of employers and this a real chance to support a working mother whose hours and days were agreed when she commenced employment."
The sacked RSL Welfare and Benevolent Institution workers, who provide advice and counselling for veterans and war widows were told they were out of work and would be replaced by contractors.
They provide crucial pensions information, welfare support and advice, and serve a vital advocacy role at tribunals such as the Veterans Review Board.
Their dismissal follows a NSW Industrial Relations Commission decision to allow them to join their union and be employed under the Social and Community Services Award, delivering them basic industrial rights and an award wage.
The sackings leave exposed veterans whose claims are due to be heard by the Veterans Review Board in the coming weeks and would normally rely on the RSL advocates.
Australian Services Union executive president Sally McManus says its a sad irony that an organisation set up to champion the interests of people who served their country would throw some of them on the scrapheap - just for standing up for their rights.
"The RSL is leaving Australia's veterans and war widows in the lurch while it goes and plays politics with its dedicated team of employees," McManus says.
"Our immediate concern is for the veterans community and those who use this service, especially those counting on their nominated advocates representing them before the Veterans Review Board. "
Mossman Mill Prop Ltd received the handout just as North Queensland employees voted down its plan to "fractionalise" them, earlier this month.
Fractionalise? It is, apparently, the magic bullet recommended by an out-of-state business consultant. The fraction, in this case, referring to what would be left of earnings after mill owners redesigned the calendar to include only 39 weeks.
The 65 fulltime employees left at the Mossman sugar mill, located about 20km north of Port Douglas, told owners to go away and think again, as boilermaker, Stan Wright, explained.
"This mill has been on a downhill trend for five years and workers have gone out of their way to help. We've taken voluntary redundancies, forgone pay rises and, two years ago, accepted a six-week stand down to pay the redundancies of 27 people who were willing to leave - that's the sort of thing people in small communities do," Wright said.
"But this is out of order. Basically, there is no more left to give. They are after entitlements we have fought for over the years and we aren't going to give them away."
Wright, who has worked at the Mossman Mill for more than 30 years, said the company would do better to offer redundancy to people ready to leave than expect them to sell out future generations.
AMWU organiser, Darren Trask, says Mossman typifies the difficulties facing the sugar industry - lack of investment, poor management and antiquated infrastructure.
"We reject selling off hard won wages and conditions as the answer," he said. "It is an industry problem and a community problem and that's why our union is pushing for broader solutions.
"If sugar is to have a future everyone must be heard and decisions should be taken in the interests of our communities. Workers and their families are stakeholders in the industry and insist on being treated accordingly."
AMWU members, including Wright, have already held discussions with Douglas Shire councillors and mayor, Mike Berwick.
Bob Keys died at Consolidated Extrusions Ingleburn plant when witnesses say half a tonne of brass rods fell from overhead racking.
Keys' daughter has demanded to know who will be held accountable for his death.
The incident has sparked renewed union calls for industrial manslaughter legislation in NSW.
"It's all too frequent that we hear of a death that is avoidable," says acting state secretary of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), Matt Thistlewaite. "It shouldn't take a serious injury or death for employers to meet their legal obligation to provide a safe workplace."
Thistlewaite has slammed existing penalties for safety breaches as "insufficient" and has pledged to Keys' family and workmates that the AWU will be doing "everything that it can" to hold those responsible accountable.
Workers Online understands that Consolidated Extrusions is currently being prosecuted over an incident where a worker had his hand caught in a machine.
In a previous incident an explosion is a casting house at Consolidated Extrusions left employees "shaken".
"It was quite amazing that no one was hurt or killed," says Thistlewaite of the casting house incident.
A NSW government working party is currently looking into penalties for deaths and serious injury in the workplace.
"Regardless of what any working party says, the Labor Council and NSW unions want a law in place that adequately deals with these issues," says Thistlewaite, who accused the government of being out of step with community expectations. "If you do the wrong thing and drink and drive and that causes a death then you face a gaol sentence. There have been fewer fatalities on roads because of stiffer penalties, but when it came to dealing with business the Government doesn't seem to have the same strength."
Coronial investigations into Keys' death are continuing.
Kevin Morris, 53, is forced to work split shifts where he can be paid for as little as five hours during an eleven hour stint. He has no sick pay and, he said, a recebt bout of flu had left him financially "buggered".
Turned down for a loan by both banks and credit unions, because of his casual status, Morris was forced into an expensive hire purchase arrangement.
Over 70% of the private bus industry workforce are casualised. Morris has colleagues who have been casual for up to ten years and he points out that more casuals are being employed all the time.
The situation has prompted the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to launch a case to secure the right for casual drivers to become permanent of they wish.
Employer groups and the Federal Government are resisting calls to reign in the growing use of casuals in the name of 'flexibility'.
"What flexibility!" says casual bus driver Kevin Morris of his job. "They bring us in when they want and we have got to sit around all day waiting to work. We have no rights at all."
Morris was told he had no rights by a manager who also said, "we can do what we want".
How casualisation is used as a management tool became apparent when Morris pressed to become permanent. A manager told him that if he "kept his nose clean" the manager "might be able to do something". For Morris that was a hint for him to not be vocal about his working conditions.
"Drivers are working 50 hour weeks and being treated as second class citizens,' says TWU organiser Mick Pieri. "They should be given the opportunity to go permanent."
The TWU has labelled the situation of casual drivers as a "new class of working poor".
The TWU case to give long term casual bus drivers the right to go permanent is continuing before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.
"What's happened is criminal in the truest sense of the word and it's been done in the name of profit," says Giorgos Philiousis, president of the construction workers' union at the Athens 2004 Olympic Village. "As the time got pressured with contractors chasing bonuses and without serious health and safety measures the number of accidents increased."
According to unions, contractors may have concealed fatal accidents at any one of t more than 35 non-union Olympic sites. There are also a very high number of injuries.
Sydney's unionised Olympic building program is increasingly being viewed as a benchmark.
"Over 90% of the Athens workforce is migrant labour," says Australian CFMEU national secretary John Sutton. "Employers are exploiting immigrant labour en masse."
Sutton also points out that the quality of work has suffered greatly, safety standards are poor and workers are being treated in an undignified fashion.
"The Greek government should have approached this with a cooperative attitude,' says Sutton, who contrasted the Athens scenario with the experience of the Sydney preparations where the union movement and the NSW Labor government worked together. "It has backfired for the Greek government"
Earlier this year the CFMEU staged a protest outside Greek diplomatic facilities in Australia to send a message on behalf of Australian workers about the "disgraceful" way workers in Greece were being treated.
Nurses are resisting a bid by the Little Company of Mary to lose 88 nursing hours a day from their Calvary home at Cessnock, known under state government administration as Allandale.
The NSW Nurses Association was contesting the latest cutbacks in the IRC at Newcastle, last week.
Acting secretary, Judith Kiejda, said the latest cuts had left nurses in a number of the facility's units "struggling to provide mimimum care".
"Staff report increasing adverse incidents affecting residents and themselves," Kiejda said. "They are going home exhausted and many are actively looking for alternative jobs."
The 88-hour cutbacks followed massive staffing cuts when the Little Company of Mary took over the facility last year.
Calvary currently has 281 residents, including a 96-bed dementia unit. Night shift staffing at each of four dementia lodges has been halved, with only one Aid In Nursing rostered to care for 24 patients in each.
"It is outrageous that only one AIN is left to care for 24 people with dementia throught the night," Kiejda said. Unfortunately, that is what aged care in Australia has come to in recent years."
Since the latest cuts took effect in February, stats on resident falls have increased. Two nurses have been injured in the dementia unit and two others have been hurt in general lodges.
The proposal is part of a review of Victoria's occupational health and safety laws by Chris Maxwell, QC, which also urges tougher penalties for workplace safety breaches, jail terms for serious first-time offenders and a code of conduct for company officers.
Maxwell said only half of Victorian workplaces had safety officers. Workplaces that did not elect safety officers because of ignorance or hostility from managers needed to be able to rely on "roving" union safety officers for their welfare.
Victorian unions have welcomed the report.
"This report covers everything from the obligations of duty holders, the role of inspectors, the role of information and employer incentives [and] ways to improve consultation within workplaces," says Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary Leigh Hubbard. "On first reading, we welcome many of the recommendations made by Chris Maxwell but will need to understand how they will work in practice before we can comment in any detail."
Hubbard said that the trade union movement was very disappointed that the review did not deal with the issue of industrial manslaughter but understood that the government had made commitments not to amend the Crimes Act to create such an offence.
Victorian unions have also called for union officials to have rights under the Health & Safety Act to visit workplaces to investigate health and safety breaches.
The CEPU has challenged Telstra directors to use chairman Mansfield's resignation to move from its policy of offshore speculation to building domestic service and jobs, and sees the CEO's scalp as a necessary pre-condition to an improved relationship.
It points out that during the Mansfield-Switkowski watch, Telstra dumped more than 20,000 workers, outsourced jobs offshore, raised prices and failed to maintain infrastructure.
CEPU Victorian secretary, Len Cooper, said his union spoke as the representative of 30,000 workers who are also shareholders.
His organisation has put a six-point challenge to Telstra directors ...
- to accept Switkowski's resignation, immediately
- cease political demands for the company's full privatisation
- cease mass redundancies and rebuild staff levels to enable the provision of quality services
- to carry out a review of management attitudes to staff with a view to rebuilding morale and teamwork
- carry out an objective review of contracting and outsourcing policies with a view to bringing work back in-house, as agreed in the company's recent EBA with the CEPU
Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Howard has shocked industry observers with a suggestion that Communications Minister, Richard Alston, takeover from Mansfield as chairman.
Telstra sources insist that as Communication Minister, Senator Alston rejected a short-list of possible CEO's forwarded by previous office holder, Frank Blount, leading to Switkowski filling the position in the first place.
Labor Communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner said Alston had built an international reputation as the world's worst Communcations Minister.
"Having stacked the ABC and SBS boards, John Howard is now going for the mother of all political stacks," Tanner said.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has slammed the "fly-by-night" diving companies that are failing to pay award wages or meet basic safety standards.
The divers are being used to work in such dangerous situations as in sewage, dams, near power station intake ducts and without many safety precautions considered essential to the job.
"You'd think that diving would be pretty good conditions and good pay packets at the end of the week but the opposite is the case," says Robert Coombs, NSW secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). "At best these divers are employed on casual terms of employment as provided for in the relevant Federal Award. At worst they are employed on an ad hoc basis by unscrupulous employers who exploit a largely deregulated industry that relies on an itinerant workforce."
"The most alarming aspect of these employment practices is the non preparedness of some employers to follow safety standards."
According to Coombs a lack of resources at WorkCover doesn't allow for adequate inspections and, with no effective policing of the industry, safety standards have been allowed to decline. Also, dodgy employers in the diving industry are exploiting the large number of recreational divers.
Of particular concern to the MUA has been the willingness of NSW government departments to engage unscrupulous employers as contractors.
Coombs has called for the state government to establish a preferred contractors list to weed out shonky operators.
Pig On a Spit - Safari Picket
The CFMEU is conducting a picket of the Safari restaurant to get the owners to pay entitlements owed to workers (the owners are also builders). The Safari restaurant is in King Street Newtown. Picket is this Friday (and every Friday until they pay up!). From 6pm. All welcome.
Do Refugees Have Human Rights?
Politics in the Pub event at Gearins Hotel Katoomba. The Blue Mountains Unions Council in cooperation with the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group will be examining the issue of refugees and asylum seekers with the assistance of guest speakers Sally McManus, Executive President of the Australian Services Union, and John Valder, Patron for the Bridge For Asylum Seekers Foundation and former federal President of the Liberal Party. Local resident Michael Farrell-Whelan will talk about the activities of the Blue Mts Refugee Support Group and the renowned Blue Mts Trade Union choir will also entertain the crowd. The event is on Saturday 17th April from 2pm till 4pm.
For further information please contact Mark 0418694969.
Adelaide International Workplace Conflict Conference - 21-23 April 2004
Holiday Inn on Hindley (formerly the Novotel Adelaide), Hindley Street.
The workplace mirrors the world - dealing with conflict at work
Conflict is a characteristic feature of most workplaces and has many manifestations. Its impacts can be positive or negative. The conference will look at the sources of workplace conflict and its management. It will be of interest to human resource practitioners, advocates, legal practitioners, health professionals, conflict resolution professionals, educators, OHS&W practitioners and representatives, workplace change consultants, unions, employers, government agencies, academics and policy makers.
Dale Bagshaw, University of South Australia, Australia.
Richard Bonneau, Los Angeles Police Department, US.
Pat Ferris, Organisational Consultant, Canada.
Eric Lee, LabourStart, UK.
Patricia Mannix McNamara, University of Limerick, Ireland
Mark Thomson, Author, Australia.
Dieter Zapf, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany.
Privacy & Confidentiality - "Email is Forever"
Workplace Cultures & Managerial Fundamentalism
Workplace Grievance & Dispute Procedures
Training for Managing Conflict
Conference Registration Information:
Registration fee: $545
More information, including registration forms, can be found at the conference web site:
Event Strategies Pty, PO Box 486, UNLEY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5061
Tel: 61 8 8373 4580 Email: [email protected]
May Day Toast
Souths Leagues Club, Thursday 29 April. 6.45pm
May Day March
Saturday May 1
11am Hyde Park North
WHEN WORKERS UNITE - FOUNDATIONS OF TOMORROW
An exhibition of banners, badges and posters produced by trade unions, and original artworks by Jeff Rigby highlighting the strong historical role unions have played in the creation and conservation of our built environment, whilst May Day materials emphasise the workers' achievements in gaining and maintaining the rights and conditions of those who built it.
From: 1st May to 16th May 2003 at Braemar Gallery, 104 Macquarie Rd, Springwood
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm
Just heard from my Union (QNU) that one of the deals that was forced through with the last Health Budget was that the usual reserve left to allow for workers' wage increases in the Health Budget was cut in that stand and deliver whine from the Howard Health Minister before the current Health misdeal. So the Labor state and territory health spokesfolk all fell over, and now they say they can't pay their workers.
And whose problems should that be, do we reckon?
Is there no limit to the audacity of yourself or your pseudonym "Tom Collins"?
I am sure you are aware that this name is synonymous with that of Joseph Furphy, from which the Australian term "Furphy - A rumour; false story", and your latest publication of this crap in Edition 214 particularly the denigration of vilification of that Union Stalwart Michael Costa "But Will He Get the Trains To Run On Time?" further validates my assertions as to your attempts at 'agent provocateur' through rumour and innuendo through anonymous poison pen letters
It has been said that people get the government they deserve and last weekends local government elections, appear to bear this homily as fact, rather that anecdote.
The almost complete annihilation of the ALP the instigators of the reconstituted and gerrymandered City of Sydney, gives , in my opinion complete credence to this reality , but, sadly there are some anomalies statewide , where some underperforming labor controlled councils were returned ,and some of this with an actual increase in votes, if not elected members , with the only explanation being the apparent popularity of Mark Latham in Western Sydney , this counteracting the underlying resentment against the State Government ,a resentment which was hopefully expected to flow on to local government and thus venting the anger of the people .
So, it would appear that this overall survival may, if classed as a victory, may be but a Pyrrhic one, with the eventual underlying anger being repressed until the up coming Federal Election, of which Industrial Relations will be a major component, encompassing a possible Patrick‚s Style confrontation with the AMWU being in the offing , thereby creating a favorable climate for the reelection of the Howard government.
No matter, while the hands of time like the ebbing tides can no more be returned from whence they came, the battlers at the City of Sydney whom have been under siege since Sartors ascendancy may receive some reprieve from the on going oppression they have had and continue to suffer for nigh on 10 years.
What can a poor downtrodden pissant say but „Well done Clover, and you can soon expect to receive my ongoing complaints of corrupt behaviors and environmental vandalism which have still not be addressed and are certainly not affected by any statute of limitations other that those of administrative of ministerial prerogative‰.
The Stop The War Coalition has asked and will continue to ask the Sydney Peace and Justice coalition, trade unions and any others to be part of joint events opposing the occupation in Iraq and the presence of Australian troops.
We want to work together with other groups.
March 20 saw 5000 rally in Sydney. It was called by the World Social Forum, a meeting of over 150,000 activists.
We asked SPJC to be involved in this event. I spoke with Peter Murphy about this in planning stages last year.
The SPJC should realise the mistake it made moving away from the mainstream of the anti-war movement.
And the union movement, for which numbers does matter, should do the count.
5000 at March 20th, 300 at Palm Sunday. yes without rain this may have been 1000. But the maths lesson stays the same.
5000 at STWC anti bush Sydney demo last October. 1500 at Bushwacked.
Latham has tapped into the continued opposition to the war with his troops out call by xmas call.
We welcome a rejoining of the anti-war movement.
I am absolutely fed up with reading corporate annual reports, where the employees that work there are not even mentioned.
Yes, the CEO's, the chairman and board members are covered with great accolades, especially if the company has made money for shareholders that year.
How about companies mentioning the employees that help them to make the money, have photos of employees in the annual report, comments from employees, not just comments from the head guys.
Oh and yes, it is about time that company annual reports mentioned OHS and what efforts the employer is doing to help keep workers alive. OHS is rarely mentioned in annual reports. It should be on page one, in bright lights. Because if these corporates don't get it right with OHS and work with their employees to stop injuries and stop deaths on the job, then workers comp costs are going to soar.
Then the poor worker suffers, his/ her family and colleagues suffers, not to mention the huge workload in workers' compensation paperwork.
Look after the worker's OHS and mention that the workers exist in the annual reports and companies will not only get better financial results they will also be valuing their most prescious asset ....their people, their human resources.
On one level Workers Online's revelations about the lawyer who penned the report dismissing a senior security officer's claims that Australia's military intelligence had become fatally politicised, is nothing more than a bit of insider gossip.
We don't know Army Reservist Colonel Richard Tracey (aka Dick Tracey, QC) and we cast no aspersions over his objectivity as a lawyer or integrity as a human being.
So he made a motza hammering the CFMEU at the Cole Royal Commission, so he has been an honoured guest of the HR Nichols Society - everyone is entitled to earn a living.
But we do make the observation that links between Colonel Tracey's work on the Cole Commission, speeches to the HR Nichols Society and work for the military create some intriguing lines of connection to the Howard Administration.
What we find intriguing is that the Howard Government would look to the man it paid to try to demolish its trade union enemies to deal with what can only be described as a national security crisis.
This speaks to a larger story - John Howard's slavish support for an ultra-conservative president and his determination to do anything to justify that position.
His version of the US-Australia Alliance is about more than military adventurism - it is about two political soul mates doing all they can to shape their nations in their own images.
You only have to look at Bush's domestic agenda to see the attraction of his politics to Howard - abolition of overtime as a legal right for eight million workers, actively promoting outsourcing and contracting out of jobs and placing onerous new financial disclosure requirements on unions. It makes Howard's waves of IR reform look like the work of a rank amateur.
Government as a tool for securing control of cheap oil whatever the cost is consistent with government as tool for driving down the rights of the worker - it's all in the name of the ultimate ideal: the profit motive.
And this is the real dynamic that binds current US-Australia Alliance: a closed circle of elite interests, whose tentacles of influence run deep into government, the public service, the legal profession and even the media.
It's only when you join the dots with names like Tracey's that the picture becomes coherent.