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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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Death Law on Tassie Books

The death of a 16-year-old at a meatworks involved in Tasmania’s longest industrial dispute has led to shock claims that Industrial manslaughter laws already exist in the state.

Matthew Hudson, who was not being paid for his work, was killed when a forklift he was driving collapsed on him at Blue Ribbon meats.

Meatworkers Union officials investigating the death discovered the existence of laws in the Tasmanian criminal code, dating back to the '20s, that make a crime of unlawful killing in the workplace.

"We're the only state to have industrial manslaughter legislation," state secretary, Grant Courtney, said.

"We want this tragedy thoroughly investigated. It's a disgrace."

Hudson, who was not supoposed to be working on the site, was unlicensed for either a motor vehicle or a forklift. His family claims he came home filthy and dirty every day; it is further alleged the 16-year-old took instructions from Blue Ribbon Meats employees.

The meat company has "washed their hands of the incident", according to the Meatworkers Union, by claiming he was the responsibility of a contractor.

The union understands Hudson was the son of a "mate" of the contractor.

"Some mate!" says Courtney.

The contractor was working on a federally funded job at Blue Ribbon Meats, who have locked out 20 workers seeking award protection since April, 2003.

The Meatworkers Union has slammed Tasmanian Liberal Senator Guy Barnett for organising the funding "while he knew of the industrial situation at Blue Ribbon".

Courtney contrasted federal funds being directed to a "murderous" Tasmanian employer, while being denied to unionised projects on the mainland.

Locked out Blue Ribbon workers have won their case in the Industrial Relations Commission and the Supreme Court. They are currently awaiting a decision on Blue Ribbon's appeal to the full bench of the Supreme Court.


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