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Issue No. 239 24 September 2004  

Moral Victories
The release of the Jackson Inquiry into James Hardie may represent the completion of one chapter of Australiaís largest corporate scandal, but it is by no means the end of the story.


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 workersí 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.


 Delta Parties Like Itís 1994

 Shot In The Arm for Dealers

 Corporates Vote for AWAs

 Mind Game for the Discriminating

 Electrolux "Try On" Rebuffed

 Cultural Revolution Purges Howard

 Xerox On The Blink

 Billions Hidden Behind the Veil

 Customs Crosses the Border

 Toolbox Gimmick Threatens Awards

 Cleaners Clean Up

 u r brkng t law

 Unions Join Power Surge

 Vulnerable Lose Shot At Life

 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.

 I Say I Say I Say
 I Say I Say I Say II
 Vote Early, And Often
 No Surplus Of Generosity
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Delta Parties Like Itís 1994

A central coast pharmaceutical company uses labour hire to keep workers on a 10-year-old agreement and make them pay for their own knives and pens.

Under the Delta Laboratories Enterprise Agreement, registered in 1994, process workers receive all-in rates of $13 an hour and have to complete more than 50 hours a week to qualify for overtime.

The facts came to light after the IRC recommended the reinstatement of a Manpower labour hire employee, Vicki Barnes, who had been accused of advocating union membership during working hours.

Barnes had been working permanently at Delta for a year when she was stood down by Manpower after complaints about her union activities. She returned to the job on Tuesday after the company and the NUW agreed to abide by the recommendation of IRC Commissioner McKenna.

NUW secretary, Derrick Belan, said her reinstatement was a "clear warning" to employers who use labour to discriminate against workers.

"It points up the pitfalls of permanent employment through labour hire," Belan said. "Employers should be wary about trying to use labour hire to try and avoid their responsibilities, including those that might flow from the Secure Employment Test Case.

"All Vicki did wrong, in the eyes of the employer, was join the union.

"Getting involved in practises like this is why Manpower is regarded as one of the least reputable labour hire employers."

Belan said Delta Laboratories had received "smart" legal advice about their employment structure but it was "inherently unfair" and was a key issue to be addressed by the NSW Labor Council's Secure Employment Test Case.

The company is able to keep its process workforce on the terms of a 10-year-old non-union agreement because labour hire workers, technically employed by Manpower, do not count towards the 65 percent of the workforce needed to assent to its termination, he said.

"The document is criminal. It makes workers pay for their own knives, pens etc and work more than 50 hours a week before they qualify for overtime but, because of the use of labour hire, we can't roll it.," Belan said. "The workers employed under its terms and conditions don't get a say in whether it should be replaced or updated."

"Vicki wanted to go back because she is a personal of principle. She knew she had done nothing wrong."


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