As our athletes approach the starting line in Athens, it is interesting to reflect on how the world has changed since Sydney was the centre of a global group hug just four years ago.
Interview: Trading Places
New ACTU International Officer Alison Tate cut her teeth delivering aid to developing nations through APHEDA. Now she is helping chart the global union agenda.
Safety: Snow Job
James Hardie has been drilled into our collective consciousness as a story of power, greed and immorality. It is also, as Jim Marr reports, a tale of human tragedy.
Politics: In the Vanguard
Damien Cahill reveals how neo-liberal think tanks have been at the forefront of the corporate assault upon trade unions and social movements in Australia.
Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Donít get between Sydney sparkie Semir Pepic and a gold medal in a dimly lit alley, writes Tim Brunero.
Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
Perfect Porker, Darren Vincent, brings a history of meat worker shafting to this monthís Bad Boss nomination.
International: Cruising For A Bruising
Europeís big unions are bruised as they watch companies roll over some of their best-organised unionised workplaces demanding longer work hours Ė without any recompense, reports Andrew Casey.
History: Under the Influence
Was John Kerr drunk when he wrote and signed the letter dismissing Edward Gough Whitlam from the Prime Ministership in 1975? Geraldine Willissee investigates.
Economics: Working Capital
Where superannuation fits, where it fails and what we should we do about it. Neale Towart gives the tough answers.
Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
There's many a must see moment in Mike Moore's new flick but beating the propaganda machine at its own game wreaks havoc with wearied bullshit detectors, writes Tara de Boehmler.
Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
When Flood washed away the PM's sins, the truth was once again left high and dry.
Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
During a recent visit to an elderly relative in a nursing home, I was waylaid by an ancient gentleman who insisted I listen to what he had to say, writes Rowan Cahill.
Stink Rises from Hamberger
ALP Embraces Collectivism
Bully Drives Deckhand into Drink
Fighter in Cancer Link
Tunnellers Dig in for Safety
Seconds Out in Newcastle
Vale Josh Heuchan
"Betrayal" Sparks Election Rethink
Councils Wedge James Hardie
Great Southern Death Rattler
Libs Desert "War Criminal"
Casuals Take Over
ALP Star Hits The Waterfront
Activists Whatís On!
The Westie Wing
The Labor Governments in each State must take the lead to stop the abuse of corporate law in Australia in the absence of action from the Federal Government, as the Inquiry into James Hardieís has highlighted, writes Ian West.
Cleaners Deserve Our Support
It's time the state's cleaners were given some support, loyalty and long service leave, writes Chris Christodoulou.
The Locker Room
Half Time At The Football
Phil Doyle wants to have his pie and eat it too.
Frank Mossfield was one of the labour movementís quiet achievers. Former Labor Council secretary Michael Easson pays tribute.
An Officer And A Teacher
Lessons From East Timor
Just back from a study tour to East Timor, National Reserach Officer with the Construction division of the CFMEU, Ben Stirling, writes about the experience for Workers Online.
Tom Goes Asexual
Road Rage At Work
Democracy In Action
|other LaborNET sites
Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Councils Wedge James Hardie
Sydney City, Parramatta and Leichhardt have signed up to a union campaign to boycott James Hardie products.
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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