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Issue No. 237 10 September 2004  

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.


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.


 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!


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.

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Girl Power Slays Oil Giants

Australian women helped knock over oil giants that wanted to force husbands and boyfriends to spend increased time away from their families.

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) rejected a bid by ESSO contractors to force Bass Strait rig workers onto 14-day on, 14-day off rosters, after hearing video evidence from wives and girlfriends, and considering the views expressed by more than 200 in a survey.

AWU secretary, Bill Shorten, called the decision an "extraordinary win for families".

"It is a breakthrough, not only to have the voices of women and children heard in a dispute in this industry, but for them to be listened to," Shorten said.

"This was a major case in which families stood together against some of the world's largest and most aggressive companies. Their courage in resisting ESSO bullying has been rewarded with a comprehensive victory."

Oil and gas rig workers, members of the AWU, AMWU and CEPU, had been in dispute with US-based ESSO and contractors, including Halliburton-linked Kellogg, Brown, and Root, for more than a year over demands to ditch their seven-on, seven-off rosters.

The AWU presented extensive evidence, including survey results that showed 90 percent of wives and girlfriends opposed the 14-day rosters.

In what could be a significant boost for the ACTU's work and family test case, Commissioner Dominica Whelan, ruled family responsibilities had to be taken into account.

"At a time when for reasons of public policy emphasis is being given to the need for children to have greater involvement of males, in their day-to-day lives, to lengthen the time period for which the father is totally absent from these families seems to me to be contrary to that policy and the public interest," she ruled.

She said ESSO and its contractors had failed to make a "business case" for roster changes and lashed their approach to health and safety.

The companies, she said, didn't even acknowledge that a risk assessment was required.

"The only action by the contractors has been to circulate selective and misleading information which has not assisted the process," she added.


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