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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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Vale Frank Altoff

Nobody came to pick up the attendance books at Labor Council last week. And, their keeper of 29 years, Frank Altoff, never would.

The true Labor man, dedicated to family, union, party and community, passed away last week at the age of 88.

As a casual driver on the waterfront Altoff joined the TWU in 1956, and became an active delegate in 1959.

This was the same year Ernie Wilmott took over the indebted union and, as legend has it, paid the staff their Xmas wages with his own Long Service Leave entitlements.

Altoff was a confirmed rank and filer who insisted everything he and his union did was from the ground up.

His contribution was critical to the union successfully wining the $24 a week rise in the 70's, a rise that sent shock waves across the country.

As part of the claim Altoff was supposed to drive Commissioner Wells around Sydney for three days so he could see first hand the realities of being a transport worker.

On the first day they were on the job for 16 hours.

The Commissioner didn't turn up on the second, and the TWU members won the case.

In passing his decision, Altoff warmly remembered how the Commissioner remarked "Those transport workers deserve every cent they can get."

For his years of service Altoff was made a TWU Life Member, the first Rank and Filer to do so in 110 years.

He was also the holder of the Labor Council Scroll of Honor.

Altoff's most recent milestone was his 29 years as Labor Council doorman, where he repulsed many a protester with his quiet and dignified style.

Frank's mentoring role in the TWU continued until his death and advice to his young comrades never changed - always fight hard, fight from the ground up and always, always follow the motto,

"The past we cannot change, but at present we can better the future."


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