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Issue No. 244 29 October 2004  

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.


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.


 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!


True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues Itís Time Ė 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.

 Honesty Is the best Policy
 Nothing To Stand On
 Itís The End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
 Dear Mark letter
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"Joke" Fine Death Boss

The father of a worker crushed to death at an Amcor paper mill has called the $120,000 penalty slapped on the company a "joke".

Darren Moon was killed when he was pulled into the rollers of a paper-making machine at Amcor's Melbourne plant last year.

The court heard the machine had been operating without safety guards since 1966.

"It's a joke, They have swept my son's ashes under the carpet," says Paul Moon, father of the victim. "He was dragged headfirst into a massive machine that should have been guarded."

"He was doing his job as he was trained and they get a quarter of the fine, which amounts to about one per cent of what they pay their top executives over the year."

The decision has sparked outrage amongst Victorian trade unionists, with the Victorian trades Hall Council's Leigh Hubbard asking "what is a life worth?"

"This company pleaded guilty to breaches of the OHS Act and admitted to not guarding a pulp paper machine," says Hubbard. "By pleading guilty Amcor have acknowledged that they have not been complying with Victoria's health and safety laws."

Hubbard added that due to a number of other incidents the company deserved a far more severe penalty."

Work Death Law Welcomed

Meanwhile, in NSW the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union has welcomed the announcement by NSW Minister for Commerce, John Della Bosca, of the introduction of a new offence with jail penalties of up to five years for bosses who kill workers.

"These amendments are long overdue, and it has taken a constant flow of tragic deaths on workplaces, including the death of 28 year old father of two Glen Viegas on Sunday at Westfield Tuggerah, to finally force the Government's hand," says CFMEU NSW Secretary Andrew Ferguson.

"One worker still dies in NSW every two days, and this is an unacceptable number that we hope will drop because of this legislative change."

"But these laws are not good enough alone, the community also wants justice, and they want to see these laws enforced so that bosses no longer escape with a tap on the wrist for their negligent actions, but that they a punished fully for their actions."

The NSW Labor Council also welcomed the announcement by Industrial Relations Minister Della Bosca that the state government is moving towards tougher sanctions on workplace fatalities.

Union Wins In NZ

In other news a CFMEU backed Rugby League team won the New Zealand Maori Tournament - the first time a team from outside of New Zealand has won.

The team won all five games, including the Final 34-16.

"It was a great experience, says coach and former Penrith star Luke Goodwin. "Apart from my kids being born & my wedding day it would easily be the greatest moment and feeling I have ever felt!"


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