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Issue No. 244 29 October 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

Raking Over The Tea Leaves
Prepare yourselves; you are about to enter the Twilight Zone, a strange world where logic collapses in on itself, where enemies are new friends and assets become liabilities.

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 MUAs 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

 Cameron Flags Fightback

 Latham on Union Mat

 Union Shelters WA Roofers

 Bosses Trip on Electrolux

 Drivers Derail Game Boy

 Asses Get Carrot

 Families Pay More For Homes

 Commonwealth Banks on Sackings

 Back Gong Back in Gong

 "Joke" Fine Death Boss

 Division Over Hardie Laws

 Activists What's On!

C O L U M N S

Politics
True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues Its Time 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
 Honesty Is the best Policy
 Nothing To Stand On
 Its The End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
 Dear Mark letter
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Back Gong Back in Gong


A worker who invented a device that saved his company tens of thousands of dollars has been rewarded with a $200 bonus.

Mario Tuccia, a 33-year veteran at One Steel Kembla Grange, received a safety achievement award from the NSW Labor Council for his initiative at last week's UnionSafe safety delegates conference.

Tuccia designed and built the WorkCover accredited 'flying saw lifting jig' for cutting pipe, which has virtually eliminated back injuries in a previously notorious section of the One Steel plant.

"The safety problem occurred when two employees had to physically lift the saw blade and place it on a motor in a confined space," says Tuccia. "There are no longer any back injuries occurring from the saw blade process."

Tuccia says that there were two or three injuries a year in the past, something that would have cost One steel tens of thousands of dollars a year.

While Tuccia sees the $200 bonus as recognition of his efforts, he is also concerned that the paltry amount is not a just recognition by management of the good ideas that come from the shop floor.

Tuccia has been an active union delegate and OHS Committee member, being Chairperson of the OHS committee at One Steel for the last 18 years.

Mario received his Award at the Third annual Unionsafe safety delegates conference held at Parramatta's Riverside Theatre.

Over 60 union workplace safety delegates were presented with awards by recently elected MP Peter Garrett, including Jo Reid, a Meatworker's Union member from Inghams' Chickens Cardiff plant.

Reid has battled hard in the face of company intransigence to ensure that safety issues are addressed in the often dangerous conditions found at the plant.

The conference also awarded the Brian Miller Lifetime achievement award to Barry Robson from the Maritime Union of Australia.

The Frank Belan Award, going to a member of the community who has worked to advocate for workers safety, saw the crowd giving a long ovation to Bernie Banton for his campaign against James Hardie's move to dodge it's responsibilities to asbestos victims.

"Some of these achievements are absolutely fantastic," says NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson of the award winners. "I think that the contributions from our hard working safety delegates are in many instances a victory for common sense."

"We know that often being a safety representative is a tiring and thankless task with delegates often doing work outside of hours and even facing victimisation at work."


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