||Issue No. 232||06 August 2004|
Interview: Trading Places
Safety: Snow Job
Politics: In the Vanguard
Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
International: Cruising For A Bruising
History: Under the Influence
Economics: Working Capital
Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
Bully Drives Deckhand into Drink
"Betrayal" Sparks Election Rethink
The Locker Room
Tom Goes Asexual
Road Rage At Work
Democracy In Action
Labor Council of NSW
Councils Wedge James Hardie
Several other local authorities - including Bankstown, the Blue Mountains and Waverley - have the issue on their agendas as community anger over the compensation rip-off grows.
The move was sparked by a joint CFMEU-AMWU approach to Labor Council, last month, calling for community and workplace action against the one-time blue chip.
Seven mayors attended this week's CFMEU delegates meeting and pledged their, or their council's, backing for the boycott.
Bankstown mayor Helen Westwood said the campaign would affect James Hardie's "bottom line - and that seems to be what they respond to."
Following the meeting, CFMEU delegates marched en masse on the inquiry into James Hardie's corporate behaviour where more sensational allegations were being made.
Michael Slattery, QC, told the commission Hardie had deliberately kept trust fund directors "starved" of information and isolated from actuaries.
That fund, MRCF, was set up by Hardies to control assets available to victims of its asbestos products when it moved to the Netherlands.
James Hardie told the Supreme Court it would leave behind assets worth $1.9 billion for use of creditors. A year later it cancelled that arrangement, without informing the court, shareholders, the stock market, or asbestos sufferers.
Actuaries estimate that with Hardie having gone Dutch, the trust fund it left behind will fall as much as $2.4billion short of meeting compensation claims.
Slattery, acting for MRCF, referred to a lawyer's letter that had been changed by a James Hardie executive so victims would not be informed of plans to remove assets.
The support of councils came after the AMWU called for state government to bar Hardies products from its sites, and to pass legislation that would force the company to meet compensation claims.
NSW Premier, Bob Carr, told the Sydney Morning Herald, this week, he was "inclined to support" a ban by state government contractors.
Leichhardt mayor, Alice Murphy, said her council would boycot company products until "full compensation was guaranteed to existing and future victims of asbestos related diseases".
Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, and her Parramatta counterpart, Julia Finn, confirmed their councils had voted to support the boycott.
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