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Issue No. 227 02 July 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

A Place To Call Home
These days the Great Australian Dream is closer to a fantasy, where the chances of owning to your own home depend on either inheriting property or winning lottery.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Power and the Passion
ALP's star recruit Peter Garrett shares his views on unions, forests and being the Member for Wedding Cake Island

Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Tony Butterfield became a State of Origin gladiator at the unlikely age of 33. Even that, Jim Marr reports, couldn’t prepare him for the knock-down, drag-em-out world of modern IR.

Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Proposals to flog off NSW’s forests have raised eyebrows and temperatures amongst some of the key players reports Phil Doyle.

Housing: Home Truths
CFMEU national secretary John Sutton argues for a radical solution to the housing affordability crisis.

International: Boycott Busters
International unions have issued a new list of corporations breaching ILO sanctions to do business in Burma.

Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
The absurdities of neoclassical economic assumptions has never stood in the way of their being trotted out to justify profiteering and attacks on the rights of citizens. The AUSFTA is the latest rort we are supposed to swallow, writes Neale Towart.

History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Interest in JC Watson's short time as Labor's first Prime Minister should not detract from his more substantial role as Party leader, writes Mark Hearn

Review: Chewing the Fat
As debate rages in Australia about Fast Food advertising, Julianne Taverner takes a look at a side of the industry that Ronald McDonald won’t tell you about in Supersize Me.

Poetry: Dear John
Workers Online reader Rob Mullen shares some personal correspondence with our glorious leader.

N E W S

 NRMA Reverses Over Turnbull

 Privatisation Kills

 Crikey: Irwin Feeds Staff AWAs

 Nurses Telegraph Fight Back

 "Sexiest Man" Plays it Safe

 Eureka: Bug Swats Hadgkiss

 Macdonald Ponders Asbestos Blue

 Latham Gets Late Mail

 Murdoch Faces Discrimination Rap

 Boss Goes Postal

 Oberon Survives Bomb Threat

 Howard Out On CD

 Telstra Hangs Up On Staff

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

Politics
The Westie Wing
As the NSW Labor Government sells its first budget deficit in nine years, the real concern for the union movement is the devil in the detail, especially when it comes to procurement agreements, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Rubber Bullets
Labor's IR spokesman Craig Emerson launches a few characteristic salvos across the Parliamentary chamber

The Locker Room
Tears After Bedtime
Phil Doyle says that it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye

Postcard
Postcard from Vietnam
APHEDA's Hoang Thi Le Hang reports from the north of Vietnam on a project being fund by Australian unionists.,

L E T T E R S
 Letter From America
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News

Oberon Survives Bomb Threat


Timber workers in the central west town of Oberon have stopped work over safety conditions, just months after exposing a "ticking time bomb" at their plant.

The latest action is over work practices that threaten to rip off workers hands as they move containers of fibreboard along processing lines, leaving them exposed to moving chains and gears.

"A blind eye has been turned to it in the past because it speeds up the process," says CFMEU Forestry Division organiser Adam Lincoln.

The company agreed to change work practices after workers stopped work over the issue.

The Carter Holt Harvey MDF fibre board plant in Oberon caused alarm several months back when it was revealed that hundreds and thousands of litres of hot oil used in softwood processing was close to exploding, creating a potential disaster for the small timber community.

"It was a ticking time bomb," says Lincoln. "Testing showed that the oil was dangerously close to self-ignition. All it would have taken was one leak, and this at a place that has a history of leaks and spills."

The site was immediately evacuated and testing has been put in place to monitor the problem.

Safety is a big concern for the mill workers who are supporting the CFMEU's safety campaigns.

"If we don't stand up to the company over this we'll never stand up to them," said one worker at the Carter Holt Harvey mill.


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