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Issue No. 229 16 July 2004  

The Sins of Our Fathers
The James Hardie story unfolding before the NSW Government Commission of Inquiry is not about business, it is not about politics, it is not even about the law.


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.


 Noose Tightens on James Hardie

 ‘Payback’ in Mildura

 Beware of Expensive Imitations

 Death Law on Tassie Books

 Boss Goes Off Prematurely

 Goats Clip Security

 Vale Frank Altoff

 Gnarly Break Hits FoC

 Forgecast Reneges on Millions

 Workmates Back Whistleblower

 "Thuggery" from AIDS Chiefs

 Keystone Cops In Timber Town

 Waste Work Binned

 Activists What’s On!


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

 Supersize Hypocrisy
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‘Payback’ in Mildura

Nigel Hadgkiss’ Building Industry Taskforce wants a 22-year veteran of the Australian Army fined $2000 for actions that resulted in a construction company paying money owed to Mildura workers.

Peter McLean has been charged with breaching the dispute resolution procedure in the Victorian Building Industry Agreement, months after Hadgkiss told Senate Estimates his organisation did not pursue employers for award breaches.

"They certainly have a different approach when it comes to workers," CFMEU industrial officer, Jesse Madisson, told Workers Online.

"This Task Force came into being on the back of allegations of thuggery and violence. This is the third matter it has taken to court in Victoria in two years and it is the third time a union rep has been charged with failing to comply with disputes procedures.

"They say Peter should have taken the workers' grievance through a consultative committee. Knowing the company involved, I would be very surprised if there was a consultative committee on the job."

Workers Online understands the action stems from the failure of Zouner Construction to pay workers at La Trobe University, Mildura, the site allowance set out in their enterprise bargaining agreement until after the job shut down for one day.

Mildura sources said the money, including back pay, arrived immediately after the stoppage.

The case is being run in the Mildura Magistrates Court by controversial Taskforce officer, Gary Ponzio, fingered in Senate Estimates for offering an apprentice payments to pass on union documents.

McLean, said "constant interference" by Ponzio had made the Mildura issue more difficult to resolve.

He said he had received assurances from Zouner representatives the $1.65 an hour, at issue, would be paid. However, nine or 10 weeks and many representations later, it was still being denied.

"We had ongoing arguments with Ponzio, over all sorts of things," McLean said.

"I was harrassed by him for weeks. I was also the safety representative and, at one point, he ordered me to hand over all my books and diaries

"I really think the court action is personal. We won the argument and now it is payback time."


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