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Issue No. 237 10 September 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Bully Busting
No one likes a bully – and if the response to Labor Council’s bullying conference is anything to go by, there are more of these irritating creatures in Australian workplaces than ever before.

F E A T U R E S

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’ 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.

N E W S

 Position Vacant for Bully

 Reality Dawns on Delta

 Stink Rises from Dunnies

 Girl Power Slays Oil Giants

 CFMEU on Highway to Hell

 Super Deal for Mums

 Millionaires Pay Peppercorn Wages

 Hardie Fighters Go Dutch

 Exporting Your Bank Details

 Teachers In Crossfire

 Strikers Unplug Western Power Play

 Health Changes Shift Barrier

 Meredith and Me

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

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.

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

Postcard
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.

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

L E T T E R S
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News

Reality Dawns on Delta


Three hundred Delta Electricity workers walked out of central coast power stations this week over the bullying of a workmate with cerebral palsy.

Members of seven unions took action after the state-owned agency ordered the long-serving employee to see its doctor over potential "performance difficulties".

Members of the USU, PSA, CFMEU, APESMA, ETU, AMWU and AIMPE were holding stop work meetings over the issue today at the Mt Piper and Wallerawang power stations in the Lithgow region.

PSA organiser, Bill Ferguson, said Delta had to change its culture of management by bullying and intimidation.

"This week's stoppage was specifically about their treatment of a long-serving USU member. Out of the blue they started talking to him about performance difficulties and referred him to their doctor.

"But the fact is, Delta have behaved like absolute bastards for the last two or three years. They have been standing over people and looking for ways to cut their workforce.

"They have been targeting people with any sort of medical restriction and making their lives miserable.

"The bottom line is that this is bullying, by a state government agency, and it has to stop."

The stoppages, at Vales Pt and Munmarah stations, came hard on the heels of news that Delta was threatening electricity workers who abided by an Industrial Relations Commission decision.

Barely two weeks ago, PSA assistant secretary Steve Turner, revealed the company was writing to staff, threatening the jobs and earnings of those who wanted to retain nine-day fortnights.

When the company first moved against the negotiated entitlement, unions took the matter to the IRC where the right to choose a nine-day fortnight was upheld.

Turner said Delta then wrote to staff, threatening the entitlements and job security of those who took up the right, before lining individuals up against a number of managers at meetings.

He accused Delta of a campaign of Intimidation and harassment over the nine-day fortnight.


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