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Issue No. 236 03 September 2004  

Interest Overboard
A tired, ageing government tries to scare the electorate into re-electing it on the basis of a lie. Sound familiar? Yep, John Howard is going to the polls again.


Interview: True Matilda
Former senior bureaucrat John Menadue coordinated the group of 43 calling for truth in government; and now he has bigger fish to fry.

Politics: State of Play
Are all political parties the same? Workers Online tries to cut through the jargon to compare the major parties' approaches to key policy areas.

Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Public Private Partnerships amount to privatisation by stealth. Or do they? Jim Marr investigates.

Unions: Rhodes Scholars
Tim Brunero discovers how the Electrical Trades Union is doing its best to ease the national apprentice crisis.

National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
Noel Hester previews how unions will be fighting the federal election - on the ground and online.

International: People Power
Over the next four years there is a real potential a major struggle will take place for workers´┐Ż rights and the creation of truly democratic unions in China., writes Andrew Casey

Economics: A Bit Rich
Who Gets What? Why? And So What?, Frank Stilwell reviews the BRW's Rich List

History: Mine Shafts
It's 25 years since Nymboida passed the baton to United, writes Peter Murray

Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Former RAAF engineers could be sitting on a health time bomb, Tim Brunero reports.

Organising: Building a Wave
Community groups, unions and social movements all practice organising, wrties Tony Brown and Amanda Tattersall.

Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
How dare any Liberal suggest that the Prime Minister is a lying rodent! Resident bard David Peetz reports on the outrage that this slur has justifiably caused.

Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Tim Brunero writes The Battle of Algiers is a coldly objective, almost scientific anatomy of revolution.

Culture: The Word On The Street
Phil Doyle reports on how the Australian working class experience lives on through the words of the remarkable Geoff Goodfellow.


 Sprung: Howard Liberal with Truth

 Yanks Demand Racism

 The Greening of Labour

 Mums Move to Ease Squeeze

 Flying Kangaroo Goes to Water

 Health Warning for Bank Robbers

 Heritage Goes to Waste

 Freespirit in Hiding

 Offensive Toilets Threaten Pupils

 Telstra Dials Workplace Acquiescence

 P-Plate Nightmare for Young

 Free Loaders on Notice

 Funny Money Raises Interest

 Privatisation Debate Energised

 Activists What's On!


The Soapbox
Hail to the Metro-Sexual!
If the cultural shift required in the workplace to give greater security to working families was broadly accepted the ACTU would not be locked in an adversarial Work and Family test case argues Sharan Burrow.

The Westie Wing
In his latest missive from Macquarie Street our resident Parliamentary commentator, Ian West, walks us through issues around the PBS.

How Bush Lost His Wings
Tracking the National Guard Career of the Fatuous Flyboy from New Haven, Jeffrey St Clair.

The Locker Room
The Name of the Game
Phil Doyle wonders whether we are barracking for the sponsor or the team.

Women to Women
APHEDA-Union Aid Abroad is working to create opportunities for Palestinian women living in Lebanese refugee camps.

 Gold Gold Gold for Neolibs
 Co-operating At All Costs
 Fan Mail
 All Good Except You
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Health Warning for Bank Robbers

Bank robbers busting through walls may get more than they bargained for after ANZ staff reported clumps of asbestos bearing material being found on their desks.

The bank has been sitting on the news that its Sydney head office was riddled with asbestos since late last year, with the Finance Sector Union (FSU) claiming that the bank failed to relocate staff because of the costs involved.

The FSU has called for an immediate evacuation of the Martin Place site and a nationwide asbestos audit of all ANZ workplaces in the wake of the discovery, which they claim is typical of the bank's complacent approach to workplace safety.

"Surely it is now proven that asbestos is not safe," says FSU National Secretary, Paul Schroder. "We are deeply concerned that they are more concerned about property costs and business disruption than people."

"This is particularly alarming when you consider that on the ANZ Board we have the head of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and a director of James Hardie NV - two people who should know better."

The FSU has put ANZ on notice and written to each state based OHS authority to alert them of the problem.

The news follows revelations that asbestos and vermin are threatening children at a hospital childcare centre.

Parents at the Yaralla Child Care Centre have formed an action group after threatened demolition work at the Concord Repatriation Hospital placed the childcare centre at risk.

Parents and unions; including the NSW Nurses Association, the CFMEU and the Health Services Union joined forces to halt demolition scheduled for this week.

"Given the recent media attention regarding the possible devastating consequences of exposure to asbestos I am at a loss to understand why this demolition could be allowed to proceed without proper safety precautions," says NSW Nurses Association general secretary Brett Holmes. "Especially when there are 52 children per day potentially exposed to hazardous substances."

The current site already has a higher than acceptable level of lead content in the soil."

Unions and parents are calling for the centre to be relocated as a matter of urgency prior to any demolition being commenced.


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