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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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Castle Hill Uprising

A Castle Hill boss with half his staff on stress leave stands accused of systematic bullying.

The IRC heard the disability centre manager abused and swore at staff, made them work over 18 consecutive hours, and forced a sick worker out of the toilet to attend a meeting.

The Australian Services Union told the commission the manager pressured staff to alter legal documents and forged a signature.

Seven staff at the centre, all on workers compensation, were last week at home recovering from workplace stress.

Deputy President Grayson of the IRC stressed the paramount importance of OHS issues at the workplace and directed WorkCover to do a safety audit of the centre.

Grayson also directed parties to confer in relation to the manager's continued presence in the workplace.

Most of the seven board members who oversee the centre have so far stuck by the manager but Workers Online understands one has quit, citing philosophical differences.

The manager, who was on honeymoon with a board member, did not attend last week's IRC hearing.

ASU organiser, Jim Piotrowski, says the bullying case is the worst he has ever heard of.

"What we want is a safe workplace, we will be making representations to the state government which ultimately funds the service," he said.

Meanwhile, the manager of a Fairfield disability service is standing his ground after accusations of bulllying and harrassment led to a two-day strike, last week.

Work bans are continuing and more strike action is possible unless the manager stands down while an independent inquiry probes workers' concerns.

Nearly 20 staff at the Fairfield Community Resouce Centre have sworn stat decs alleging a pattern of bullying and overbearing management practices.

The ASU alleges experienced workers are leaving the centre because they can no longer tolerate the manager's behaviour.


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