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Issue No. 219 07 May 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

The Mouse That Roars
A number of campaigns this week show how web campaigning is reaching a level of sophistication that is transforming it from a gee-whiz fad to a potent industrial tool.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Machine Man
It’s regarded as the most powerful job in the Party, but new NSW ALP general secretary Mark Arbib wants to build a bridge with the union movement.

Unions: Testing Times
Unions are not opposed to drug and alcohol testing, but they do want to see real safety issues addressed, writes Phil Doyle.

Bad Boss: Freespirit Haunts Internet
FreeSpirit forked out a motza for a whiz bang internet presence then disappeared right off the radar – once it was nominated as our Bad Boss for May.

Unions: Badge of Honour
Surry Hills is home to one of the world’s finest displays of union badges thanks to Bill "The Bear" Pirie and a supporting cast headed by Joe Strummer, Mark Knopfler, George Benson, Annie Lennox and other seriously big noises.

National Focus: Noel's World
Shrill bosses bleat over minimum wage rise, union spinmeisters congregate in Melbourne and Tassie’s nurses take the baton from their mob in Victoria reports Noel Hester in this national round up.

Economics: Safe Refuge
A humanitarian approach to refugees and an economically rational one?? I’d like to see that. Frank Stilwell did, when he went to Young in NSW to look into the impact of the Afghan refugees on temporary protection visas who came to work for the local abattoir

International: Global Abuse
Amnesty International have joined the chorus against the violation of trade union rights in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

History: The Honeypot
To the Honeypot come those individuals anxious to get their hands on instant wealth. So it was in the early days of Broken Hill, wrties Grace Hawes in this homage to the mining town.

Review: Death And The Barbarians
This new take on coming of age films focuses on the coming of death and the dignity and maturity it can inspire among those touched by it - though not always easily in the overcrowded Canadian public health system, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers some of the unfolding mysteries of talk back radio.

N E W S

 Casual Affair Costs Family

 Dob a Driver Strikes Out

 Crash LAME’s Smoking Gun

 Axe To Fall On Skippy

 Internet Replaces Crayons

 Young Lives Crushed

 Feds Move Goal Posts

 Telstra Baulks at Two Percent

 Crane Death Brings Fine

 Worker Breaks Unwritten Law

 Private Nurses Short Changed

 RailCorp Wrecks Weekend

 Thunderbirds Are Stop

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Rethinking Left and Right Part 1
Dr David McKnight, from the University of Technology, Sydney presents a new frame for looking at the competing ideas within Social Democracy.

The Soapbox
Rethinking Left and Right Part 2
David McKnight concludes the paper he presented to the ‘Rethinking Social Democracy’ conference, in London, April 15-17, 2004.

Sport
Out On A Limb
Phil Doyle becomes the first Australian journalist to state that the Olympics will be called off.

Politics
The Westie Wing
In the latest episode, Ian West explores what Disraeli called "Lies, damn lies and statistics".

Postcard
Message from America
Searing snapshots from a landscape of uncertainty have plunged the Bush Administration into deeper crisis, writes WorkingForChange's Bill Berkowitz.

L E T T E R S
 Reprehensible?
 Justice For Victims Denied
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Young Lives Crushed


Three weeks ago Cory Bentley asked his girlfriend to marry him. Last Wednesday afternoon she joined friends, family and workmates to say good bye at a Memorial Service that shut down Pt Hedland.

Bentley, 26, was crushed when air gates shut on his head while he was inside a chute at BHP Billiton’s Nelson Point iron ore facility in the early hours of last Sunday morning.

Stunned workmates and employers closed the site for 36 hours.

ACTU Pilbarra organiser, Will Tracey, said there was growing anger over the loss of a young man who had already made strong contributions to his community.

"There are health and safety issue out there," Tracey said of the plant that claimed Bentley's life. "They put massive pressure on people to keep production going at all costs.

"As for this case, we don't know, it's under investigation. Corey's body is still with the coroner."

Bentley was active in the Army Reserve, the Emergency Response Training Fire and Rescue Team, and umpiring local footy but it was his commitment to workmates that marked him out most distincly.

Long-standing AMWU delegate at nearby Finnucane Island, John Purdy, saw it from the day he arrived, just out of his fitter's apprenticeship.

"It was when the company was trying to sign people up to WA Workplace Agreements. New guys like Corey were their hope but he saw through it straight away," Purdy said.

"He stuck with the union and became an activist. He was the future of the union movement, him and young people like him.

'"Besides that, he was a very decent human being who people respected anyway."

There is little doubt the union movement had ticked Bentley's card.

Pt Hedland is a tough town full of experienced workers who have paid their industrial dues, yet AMWU members at Nelson Pt elected him deputy convenor of their site committee before he turned 24.

"Corey understood the struggles of working men and women in the Pilbarra and he was prepared to do something about them," Tracey said.

"He was a shop steward and a safety rep by the time he was 20 and that's unheard of over here.

"If the union had anything on, he was the first to arrive and the last to leave. He didn't have to be asked."

Workmates held a wake for Bentley after the public memorial service. At that gathering they discussed support they would offer his fiance and other family members.

Cory Bentley is expected to be buried in Perth this week.


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