||Issue No. 244||29 October 2004|
Raking Over The Tea Leaves
Interview: The Last Bastian
Unions: High and Dry
Security: Liquid Borders
Industrial: No Bully For You
History: Radical Brisbane
International: No Vacancies
Economics: Life After Capitalism
Technology: Cyber Winners
Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Locker Room
Nothing To Stand On
Itís The End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Dear Mark letter
Back Gong Back in Gong
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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