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Issue No. 243 22 October 2004  

The Perfect Storm
The storm clouds are gathering on the industrial horizon, an unholy trinity of a hostile legislative agenda, a radical High Court decision and emboldened employers.


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.


 Hardie Rewards Asbestos Rats

 Kentucky Fried Kids

 Miner Shafts Democracy

 Fine Drop in Ocean of Blood

 Sydney Water Outsources Brains

 Head Injuries to No Injuries

 Bosses Celebrate with Sack-athon

 Kangaroo Strikebreakers Spotlighted

 Officers Change Customs

 Union Backs League

 Carr Trouble At Port Botany

 Pratt Backs Warwick Farm Loser

 Students Fight Summer Blues

 Activists What's On!


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.

 Historical Reversion?
 Whose prosperity?
 Shop Till the Worker Drops
 Unreported Views
 Bob�s Silver Anniversary
 Hit And Myth
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Hardie Rewards Asbestos Rats

Unions are demanding that more than $10 million in payouts to disgraced James Hardie executives go to victims of their asbestos scam.

NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson said the payout again highlighted the fact that James Hardie had learnt nothing in recent months about ethical behaviour.

James Hardie today announced that it would pay CEO Peter McDonald $US6.5 million, or $A8.83 million, to leave the company while former chief financial officer Peter Shafron, who also resigned this morning, would receive $US865,000.

Robertson said he was concerned that the company, in the middle of negotiations to meet its compensation liabilities, was 'out of control'.

"This is an insult to victims of asbestos who are being told James Hardie does not have to to meet their legal obligations and a slap in the face to negotiators trying to secure a just outcome," Mr Robertson said.

"This company just does not get it - they are rewarding unethical behaviour with riches beyond the dreams of the people whose lives have been and will be destroyed by asbestos."

"If the company had any regard for the victims of this elaborate s cam, they would put these millions into the compensation fund rather than into the pockets of those responsible for this sorry affair."

He was backed by Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) NSW secretary Paul Bastian who said the payment was an affront to people who had contracted deadly asbestos diseases by working for James Hardie.

``How James Hardie could find their way through to doing that reinforces that this company has no sense of corporate morality or contrition towards its victims,'' Bastian told AAP.

The conduct of both Macdonald and Shafron is being investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, after the Jackson Inquiry recommended charges for breach of corporations law be laid.

James Hardie has appointed promoted Louis Gries, previously the head of the company's US operations as interim chief executive officer.


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