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Issue No. 247 19 November 2004  

In Defence of Jeff
Those of us who know and have worked with Jeff Shaw over the years have found the unfolding spectacle of his very public fall from grace profoundly distressing. Surely they have the wrong guy.


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.


 Activists What's On!

 Union Baiter on Charges

 Commuter Champ Backs Workers

 Late Night Threats in Perth

 Corporates Gobble Apprentices

 Fleas Get Thumbs-Up

 Packer Perishes in Blue

 $5000 Bill for Teen

 Miners Plunge Before The Beak

 Cops Raid Press

 Christmas Sack at Broken Hill

 Admin Staff Exposed

 Teachers Swallow Lolly


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.

 Backbone Derail Causes Paralysis
 Shawly we’ve heard enough
 Decline of The American Empire
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Late Night Threats in Perth

Perth building workers have brushed late night threats to continue their fight against Leighton’s bid to slash night work rates.

The company has invoked the full armoury of weapons supplied by the federal government – IRC orders, Supreme Court and Federal Court writs - in its effort to evade double time payments on the Perth Tunnel project.

Last Thursday night, it sent representatives on late night visits to the homes of employees to warn of legal action against individuals who didn't turn up to work on Friday morning.

Workers Online understands none of the 300-strong workforce caved in to the threats.

Workers struck after Leightons announced, last week, it would only pay 25 percent loadings for 12-hour night shifts on the project.

Industry sources say double time has been the construction industry standard in Perth for more than 20 years. Leightons pays double time to employees on its nearby rail project, as well as for night shifts at the Spencer St redevelopment in Melbourne.

They claim Leightons under-priced the tunnel job, fell behind schedule, and faces penalty payments as high as $54,000 a day.

Workers Online understands that in negotiating rates for the job, the joint venture assured CFMEU representatives there would be no night shift work on the construction phase.

Leightons has obtained Section 127 orders in the Industrial Relations Commission, return to work orders in the WA Supreme Court, and a Federal Court writ against CFMEU officials aiding or inciting the strikers.

Union officials met members, last week, to explain the legal judgements and warn of their responsibilities. Apparently, they were told there would no return to work while Leightons demanded night work on the cheap.

CFMEU state secretary, Kevin Reynolds, refused to discuss the dispute.

"Due to legal restrictions on our union and its officials we have no comment at the moment," he said.


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