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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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CFMEU on Highway to Hell

Hundreds of thousands of Sydney motorists are risking their lives every day on the M4 and Great Western Highway, contractors admit.

M7 Project managers Abigroup/Leightons today conceded that bridges over the highways are not being built by qualified workers and have not been certified by independent engineers, as required by law.

They admitted carpenters and form workers building massive columns that will hold the bridges are not certified to perform this specialist work.

CFMEU NSW assistant secretary Peter Zaboyak warns the M7 is a "disaster waiting to happen"

"With bridges over the M4 and Great Western Highway not being tested by independent engineers there is much greater potential for accidents affecting not just workers on the job, but hundreds of thousands of commuters who pass under the bridge columns every day.

"Is the RTA aware the safety of commuters is being compromised? Is Workcover? Is the Minister? We don't want to see a repeat of the Westgate bridge disaster or the more recent cross city tunnel accident."

Problems on the massive M7 orbital road project are proving to be many and varied. The project has seen nearly 20 accidents in the last few months, including-

- A worker losing his leg after being crushed by a backhoe

- Workmen being partially buried when trenches collapsed on top of them

- A worker being crushed by rolling plant equipment

In the most serious incident a dogman was electrocuted when his crane hit powerlines.

The dogman was sent home rather than to hospital and the employer failed to notify the site safety committee or Workcover of the incident, in contravention of Occupational Health and Safety laws.

Project managers have blocked union meetings to discuss safety shortcomings by repeatedly notifying disputes to the industrial relations commission.

Site unions put their concerns to a meeting organised by NSW Labor Council today.

"All the unions representing workers on the M7 are united in their determination to fix these problems and stop the very real risk to worker and public safety getting any greater than it already is," he said.

"That these types of problems are occurring on a state government project is nothing short of scandalous"


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