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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 Australia’s 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 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.


 Delta Parties Like It’s 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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Cleaners Clean Up

Nearly 7000 contract cleaners in NSW have won job security after a three-month campaign in schools, TAFEs and government offices.

The State Government guaranteed cleaners' hours following industrial and promised further discussions to iron out workplace safety issues.

"All cleaners will receive an offer of a job based on their current hours," says Annie Owens, LHMU NSW secretary. "We have defended every vital issue promoted by our members in this campaign."

The union will hold report back meetings with members across the state early in Term 4 to communicate the breakthrough.

"There are still some issues to be talked through, including safeguarding the jobs of cleaners in non-education facilities if the relevant Department decides to opt-out of the contract," says Owens. "During the report-back meetings we will discuss with members a number of alternative strategies.

"We believe this result can also meet the State Government's concerns, ensuring contractors provide an efficient and effective service to our school system, to our TAFE colleges and in government offices.

"The union has also agreed to hold further constructive talks with senior Government and Departmental officials about on-going concerns, which both sides have, about Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace."

Owen expressed thanks to the community for the widespread support it received from local P&Cs, teachers, unionists, the clergy and leaders of ethnic community groups during the campiagn.

More than 2000 people sent e-mails to Premier Carr expressing their support for the LHMU members.

Union Calls Cleaners Conference

The LHMU has called a special conference in December on the role of cleaners in helping to create a safe and healthy school environment.

We will invite cleaners to stand up and speak about their issues," says Owens. "The union will also invite key stakeholders - parents, teachers, occupational health specialists, asthma groups, Government Departments, as well as cleaning contractors who are considering putting in a tender for the 2005 contract - to hear the voice of cleaners.

"We want everyone to join with us to discuss all the issues. We believe they should concern all of us if we are to deliver safe workplaces and healthy schools.

"We are, after all, talking about working people earning just $13.50 an hour; working people who race through classrooms to make them clean and healthy for staff and students," says Owens. "We know we can campaign to win respect and a real voice for change for low-wage workers across this State. But we also know we still have a long, long way to go to deliver decency."


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