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Issue No. 246 12 November 2004  

How It Comes To This
There are times when a worker has no real option than to take a stand, no matter the cost. This is the situation confronting NSW’s 15,000 rail workers right now.


Interview: The Reich Stuff
Robert Reich has led the debate on the future of work – both as an academic and politician. Now he’s on his way to Australia to help NSW unions push the envelope.

Economics: Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Environment: Beyond The Wedge
Whether the great forestry divide can ever be overcome or whether it is best sidestepped for the sake of unity and sustainability in other areas is up for debate, writes Tara de Boehmler.

International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews show us How To Kill A Country

Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Nick Lewocki from the RTBU lifts the lid on the shonky science behind RailCorp testing

Politics: Labo(u)r Day
John Robertson lets fly at this years Labor Day dinner

Human Rights: Arabian Lights
Tim Brunero reports on how a Sydney sparky took on the Taliban and lived to tell the tale.

History: Labour's Titan
Percy Brookfield was a big man who was at the heart of the trade union struggles that made Broken Hill a quintessential union town writes Neale Towart.

Review: Foxy Fiasco
To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! Brother George has saved the White House from an invasion by infidels, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Workers Seize Cat

 Castle Hill Uprising

 Carr Flips on Rail

 Producers Call "Cut"

 Fly Me To … Anywhere

 Saint Buzz: Hymn the Man

 Patricks Attacks Westies

 Cold Comfort for Scientists

 Mothball Bowls Port Hedland

 Boss Rejects AWA

 Asbestos Audit Refused

 Bear Mauls Children

 "Leave or Leave," Telstra

 Activists What's On!


The Locker Room
In Naming Rights Only
Phil Doyle has Gone to Gowings

The Soapbox
Homeland Insecurity
Rowan Cahill tells us how the Howard Government’s appointment of Major-General Duncan Lewis to head up the national security division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has received little critical comment, until now.

The Westie Wing
New proposed legislation in NSW provides a vital window of opportunity for unions to ensure they achieve convictions for workplace deaths, writes Ian West.

 What about the real crooks?
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Workers Seize Cat

A luxury boat shapes as the best hope for 45 Perth workers whose boss bolted after convincing them to work for eight weeks without wages.

The AMWU has warned Wavemaster creditors that no work will be done on the $2 million catamaran until union members get their money.

The ultimatum came at a creditors meeting, last week, at which banks and the union rolled the company's bid to appoint its own auditor, William Buck, as administrator.

Employees were terminated, last week, after accepting repeated assurances that owed wages and entitlements would be paid "next Monday".

It has since been discovered that Wavemaster's owner, Malaysia-based Penang Shipping Company, engaged in a corporate reshuffle that saw its Western Australian operation transferred through Body Focus to an entity called JR Marine.

Union representatives are trying to trace directors of the company.

AMWU organiser, Steve McCartney, said even the factory manager had been taken in by company assurances that the missing money would eventually appear.

"It's hard to believe that people would keep turning up to work when they weren't being paid," McCartney said. "But he told me late payments had been happening for at least six months. It hadn't been unusual for the staff to wait four weeks for their money.

"This time, every Friday, there were assurances that the money would be paid on Monday.

"My personal belief is they stripped the company of its intellectual property then collapsed it but we are trying to follow the paper trail to see who has been taking the money out."

The company told creditors that ongoing operations in Victoria and NSW were now completely separate from the Perth concern.

AMWU lawyer, Luke Edmonds, was voted onto the creditors' committee at last week's meeting.

Wavemaster occupied Henderson premises about five doors along from Eagle Air, another company bought out and collapsed by Malaysian interests, leaving employees stranded.

The AMWU was successful in retrieving money owed to 13 members employed by Eagle Air.


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