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Issue No. 238 17 September 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Going Gangbusters?
The Prime Minister has put the economy front and centre in this election campaign, asserting - without a hint of irony – that he is the only one to trust with the national economy

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

 Mind Games Off The Rails

 Kodak Blurs Jobs Picture

 Whistleblower Stitched Up

 Ranger Incompetence Saves Lives

 Skelton in Telstra Closet

 Capt Cook Discovers Flexibility

 Optus Opts Out

 Hardie Lemon in Orange County

 One Rule for Qantas

 Mum Takes on Bullies

 Costa’s Train Crash

 TV Clash Using Visual Ammunition

 Mormons In Asbestos Blue

 Apprentices Lose Out

 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
 The Abbott Youth
 Invest In Dignity!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Invest In Dignity!


I refer to your editorial on 'Bully Busting' in edition 237 of Workers Online. As you are aware, I am a victim of psychological bullying myself, but I was also an business analyst in my previous life as well.

Well done! for someone who told me 'that nobody had really got their heads around this issue', the last time we met - you have certainly hit the nail on the head from where I sit.

Your editorial also prompted me to further analyse the issue of 'bullying' and it's impact on individual workers, organisational performance, and the Australian economy in general.

Given the fact that I have witnessed first hand the impact 'bullying cultures' have on organisational performance 'over time', has allowed me to rise above my own personal circumstances, and view this issue from a broader economic perspective.

Here is an interesting hypothetical that most people could relate to:

Bully Busting and The Intelligent Investor

Say for example, the Government was to give every person over the age of 18

$1,000 to invest in a business of their choice. The investment period, would be say, over the next 5 years (lets look long term!) and once that decision was made to invest in that business, there would be no going back

(speculative day trading is not an option).

Now the deal is, at the end of 5 years, those who have made a overall profit from their original investment would get to keep the principal and profits made over that period.

Those who have had overall losses have to return the initial principal (if there is any left) back to the government.

To add further to the stakes - those who make profits get to invest again - and those who make losses are out of the game completely.

This would prompt people to really look long and hard at the type of business (and culture) they were intending to invest in.

Everyone is given a list of companies to choose to invest their money. All things being equal, they (at present) all enjoy a significant market share in their relative industries and have all posted profits in the last 12 month.

However, there are some key differences that are not evident by looking at their current financial position, and they are:

1. Some have consumer goodwill, while others are in decline.

2. Some have good morale among workers, while others are experiencing low worker moral.

Now, you have to invest in one of these businesses without delay, which ones would you consider, and which ones would you completely avoid?

When you look at it from this perspective - it becomes obvious, the potential long-term damage 'bullying cultures can have on the economic performance of a business.

It is a hypothetical, however, yet it is these very qualities an 'intelligent investor' would carefully assess prior to investing his or her hard earned money.

Kind regards

John McPhilbin


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