||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
"Joke" Fine Death Boss
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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