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Issue No. 241 08 October 2004  

That’s All Folks!
Perhaps the most depressing part of this federal election campaign has been the Howard Government’s success, with the willing assistance of the media, of typecasting the union movement as some sort of cartoon bogeyman.


Interview: The Last Bastian
AMWU state secretary Paul Bastian has been at the centre of the three year battle to bring James Hardie to account.

Unions: High and Dry
Jim Marr unpacks the recent High Court Electrolux decision to test whether the ruling matches the media hype.

Security: Liquid Borders
The Howard Government loves to trumpet its national security credentials but a close look at its record in shipping sinks the myth argues MUA’s Zoe Reynolds.

Industrial: No Bully For You
Phil Doyle reports on how bringing dignity and respect to the workplace is undermining bullies.

History: Radical Brisbane
Radical Brisbane extends the 'Radical City' series into the Red North. Two experienced activists, academics and writers turn South East Queensland history on its head.

International: No Vacancies
More than 1400 hotel union workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 2, are on strike at four major hotels in San Francisco, California, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Life After Capitalism
A situation that all anarchists dream of? Michael Albert has been more than dreaming., writes Neale Towart

Technology: Cyber Winners
Labourstart's Eric Lee looks at a good news story of global online campaigning that has delivered a victory.

Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Teaser: Wondering why the polls are all over the place? Ask our resident bard and psephologist.

Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Voice of Southern Labor highlights the role music played in the 1930's US textile strikes, but more than that it provides a lucid insight into the roots of modern capitalism and some truly organic organising, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Telstra Dogs on Injured Woman

 Strike Three and We’re Out

 Boxall Beats Hasty Retreat

 Ashfield Moves on Home Truths

 Pratt in Warwick Farm Plunge

 Robert Reich's 2020 Vision

 Numbers Racket at Yandi

 Executive Pay Blue Looms

 Crazy Mike’s Fire Sale

 Kids Remember Kids

 DIY Security For Child Care

 Canada’s Asbestos Outrage

 Aussie Kids Thrown Overboard


True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues It’s Time – for an IR reality check.

The Westie Wing
Much work has been done in the past to ease the plight of clothing outworkers in New South Wales. It's time to step up the pressure, as sweatshops and clothing contract work are thriving stronger than ever, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Who Started the Class War?
Evan Jones looks across the Australian political landscape and asks who are the real class warriors?

The Locker Room
First Past The Post
Phil Doyle is coming up in class and is all the better for recent racing

Westie Wing
Our favourite state MP returns for his monthly Macquarie Street wrap.

Positive Action
Australian unionists are helping give hope to Filipino workers living with HIV/AIDS.

 Invest In Dignity - Part II
 No Credit
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Ashfield Moves on Home Truths

Alterations to Ashfield properties will soon become conditional on developers or home owners obtaining asbestos certificates.

Councillors are expected to overwhelmingly endorse the measure next Tuesday as western Sydney municipalities move the asbestos debate from compensation to prevention.

The certificate, which will be required for development applications, is the headline grabber in a three-pronged approach that will see Ashfield establish an asbestos register and lobby state government for greater powers to access and remove the deadly fibre from private properties.

"We are trying to build a property profile so we know where asbestos is and its condition," motion sponsor Mark Bonanno said. "Obviously, if it's dangerous, it will have to go but if it is intact it will be added to the register which potential buyers or renovators will be able to access.

"The recent debate has all been about compensation and that was good but it is time to turn our attention to prevention."

The resolution comes as the CFMEU warns that up to 90 maintenance workers at RPA Hospital may have been exposed to white asbestos.

Independent testing of air samples from the hospital's boiler room and main tool store have returned positive results. Workers Online understands that eight out of 20 samples recorded the presence of white asbestos dust.

Central Sydney Area Health Service has isolated the problem areas and agreed to put maintenance workers through full health check-ups.

CFMEU secretary, Andrew Ferguson, welcomed the Ashfield initiative as a "positive and practical step towards a safer community".

"What Ashfield is doing is an important step in our campaign to protect residents and renovators from horrible deaths," Ferguson said.

Bonanno said he had spoken to councillors from a number of inner west municipalities and most had expressed "strong interest" in following Ashfield's lead.

He suggested inner-west councils were likely to put asbestos certification and asbestos registers on the agenda of the Local Government Association of NSW.

Meanwhile, Korean workers are challenging other communities to help them reinvigorate labour day.

More than 300 Korean members of the CFMEU, along with partners and kids, partied and played soccer last Monday to celebrate union successes and reaffirm their allegiances.

"It's an important day and workers should celebrate their successes," Ferguson said. "The Koreans have laid down a challenge to other communities and unions to help them make the day bigger, better and more important."


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