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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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Boss Goes Off Prematurely

Attempts to penalise a woman for giving birth prematurely and gloating over the sacking of two non-unionists have set Australia Post up for a record-breaking third consecutive Bad Boss nomination.

Australia Post carried off the inaugural Tony Award, struck to commemorate Tony Abbott’s support for poor employers, and copped a dishonourable mention last year.

CEPU secretary, Jim Metcher, confirmed he would nominate the company as a 2004 finalist, after helping a new Mum recover six weeks of maternity leave entitlements.

Australia Post caved into a CEPU deadline and countermanded an order by Strathfield Mail Centre chief, Gary Sadler, that would have reduced her leave from 12 weeks to six on the basis that her child had arrived 13 weeks before the date she nominated.

"Gary Sadler directed the entitlements manager to only pay half of her maternity entitlement," Metcher said.

"The woman went through her supervisors, the HR Department and local delegates but Sadler was a brick wall.

"Unfortunately, management on the operational side of Australia Post treats workers without dignity or respect. There are a couple of managers out there whose philosophy is - my way or the highway.

"They are trying to create an environment based on the old Redfern Mail Exchange model when that place was known as one of the worst industrial environments in Australia."

Workers Online has come into possession of management emails that call for recent dismissals to be held over heads of surviving workers.

The first informs the same Gary Sadler that two sacked workers have failed to lodge appeals within the required 14 days.

Sadler immediately instructs managers at the country's largest mail centre: "Please ensure that we spread the word that we have sacked a couple for poor attendance ... Gary."

In a brief memo to "all" on June 28, Sadler announces: "2 staff members at SWLF have been dismissed for poor attendance. Those who snub their nose and continue to register poor and late attendance will suffer the same fate!!!"

Metcher calls this "management by threat". There is, he says, nothing positive or team building in the approach.

He said the union had not tested the validity of the dismissals because the pair had not been members.

Meanwhile, Workers Online understands Australia Post could be severely embarrassed by revelations surrounding the recent death of a long-serving Dural postie.


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