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Issue No. 242 15 October 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Historical Revisions
It was a common refrain on Saturday night as we cried in our beers, hurled vitriol at the TV set and wondered how big the shellacking would be this time around: Howard won on a lie.

F E A T U R E S

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 MUAís 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.

N E W S

 Donít Worry, Be Organised

 Senate Faces Family Fight

 Cheques Cashed In Seconds

 "Undemocractic" Taskforce Court Out

 Power to People: On Hold

 Eyes Have It Over Lotto

 Bomb in Santaís Sack

 No Picnic in Park

 Smoking Loophole A Bit Rich

 BlueScope Workers Take Stock

 ABC Radio Clash

 Melbourne Goes Global

 No Justice for Joel

 Mercury Falling in Hobart

 Last Gasp for Monitoring

 Kiddie Photos Victory

 Thousands Up for Grabs

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

Politics
True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues Itís Time Ė for an IR reality check.

Parliament
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

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

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

L E T T E R S
 Giving Your Soul Away
 Invest in Dignity Part III
 You Need Help
 Medicare Woes
 Whose Party Is It Anyway?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

BlueScope Workers Take Stock


BlueScope workers are steeling themselves to take on Australian corporate heavyweights on their own turf.

The Australian Workers' Union is putting in a bid to improve corporate governance at the company fighting collective bargaining agreements while dishing out 30% pay rises to executives on seven figure paypackets in the last year alone.

AWU National Secretary Bill Shorten said the changes would prevent executive remuneration abuses and ensure improved company practices in the long term.

"This is a company built on the blood, sweat and tears of steelworkers since 1912," says Shorten. "The AWU represents thousands of BlueScope steelworkers around Australia, and most of them are also shareholders in the company. They have a double interest in ensuring the long-term future of BlueScope and deserve to have a voice in the company's decision making processes

The AWU has proposed five changes to the BlueScope Constitution to be voted on at the company's Annual General Meeting in Sydney on October 19.

"The AWU aims to involve BlueScope employee shareholders in legitimate debate about corporate governance. We are encouraging BlueScope workers who hold shares to attend the AGM or vote on good corporate governance."

The AWU proposals will limit non-executive directors' terms to 10 years; cap "golden parachute" payouts to departing executives, prevents directors holding more than four public company directorships or two chairmanships; and require shareholder approval of executive salaries in excess of 20 times average employee earnings.

"Limiting directors' duties to four public company directorships or two chairmanships is needed to make sure they have the time and energy to properly protect the companies' and shareholders' interests. Capping directors' terms at 10 years is a modest requirement for encouraging real independence among non-executive directors," says Shorten, who predicted that unions in other industries would follow suit in using shareholder activism to advance the interests of employees.


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