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Issue No. 232 06 August 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Tarnished Rings
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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

Parliament
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.

The Soapbox
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.

Tribute
Faithful Servant
Frank Mossfield was one of the labour movementís quiet achievers. Former Labor Council secretary Michael Easson pays tribute.

Postcard
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.

L E T T E R S
 An Officer And A Teacher
 Tom Goes Asexual
 Road Rage At Work
 Democracy In Action
 Asbestos Bastadry
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Great Southern Death Rattler


An 82-year-old passenger died after falling off a train in the middle of the South Australian outback.

Great Southern Railways agreed to improve safety after Unions alleged a litany of safety breaches by the operator, including frequent cases of carriage doors being left unlocked.

Unions called on South Australian Transport Minister, Trish White, to conduct an independent inquiry into the operator of The Ghan, The Overlander and the Indian Pacific following the South Australian tragedy.

The Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) claims the death of the elderly woman who lay undiscovered for hours until spotted by the driver of a freight train travelling in the opposite direction, underscores deeper problems.

Great Southern Railways have been embroiled in a long running safety row amid accusations that it is working casuals, employed under AWAs, "into the ground until they leave".

"There has been an ongoing campaign since Great Southern Railways took over The Ghan, the Overlander and the Indian Pacific to get fair employment conditions," says Greg Harvey, RTBU assistant national secretary. "They get young kids in straight from McDonalds. It doesn't take the kids long to realise that it's not all that great."

"They don't sack them. They just don't bother giving any work to anyone who speaks up."

The RTBU had threatened legal action against Great Southern Railways for breaching safety laws, but the operator agreed to union demands for improved safety in last minute talks.

"This result is an indication that collective power can make things happen," says Greg Harvey.

United Trades and Labor Council (UTLC) of South Australia Secretary, Janet Giles says common sense prevailed.

"This is not just a win for unions, but a win for worker safety, and importantly a win for public safety," says Giles. "GSR will have no choice but to adhere to proper health and safety standards."


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