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Issue No. 251 11 February 2005  

Polar Shifts
And so Workers Online makes our belated return to 2005 - and while we may have the same old familiar faces in Federal Parliament, politically, it�s a whole new ball game.


Economics: Super Seduction
Sharks are circling your super. From July 1, banks and financial planners will have access to the nesteggs of an extra four million workers.

Interview: Bono and Me
ACTU Sharan Burrow lifts the lid on the rock star lifestyle of an international union leader.

Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Rowan Cahill bucks conventional wisdom to argue the eight-hour day began in Sydney.

Economics: OEC-Who?
The OECD calls for more reform. But, Asks Neale Towart, who is really doing the calling?

Technology: From Widgets to Digits
How can unions grow and continue to successfully represent workers when their traditional structures are rooted in an industry, craft or fixed location?

Education: Dumb and Dumber
Unions are leading the fight against a political agenda that does away with smart jobs.

Health: No Place for the Young
The support of union members is required to help get young people out of nursing homes, writes Mark Robinson

History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
February 17 marks 30-years to the day that sacked coal miners at the NSW Northern District Nymboida Colliery began their historic work-in at the mine.

Review: Dare to Win
The history of the militant and often controversial BLF is as surprising as it is fascinating writes Tim Brunero.

Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
With another change at the helm of the Labor Party, our resident bard, David Peetz, can't help but dreamily drawing on some political history.


 Plastic Man Crosses the Line

 Taskforce Loses "Payback" Evidence

 Court Out � Again

 Blue Chips Fried in CBD

 Bosses Duck Decapitation

 Computer Driven Posties

 Stalking Horses in Safety Stampede

 Low Blow in Ferry Blue

 Howard "Unbalanced"

 Picketers Chase Millions

 Whistleblower Beats Bullies

 Mateship Shines Through

 Queensland Marks Power Grab

 Vale Laurie Aarons 1917-2005


Titanic Forces
There are book reviewers who have not read the book they have just reviewed and there are critics who have criticised films they have not yet seen. I want to review a novel that has not yet been written.

The Soapbox
Labour and Labor
Grant Bellchamber looks at the relationship between both sides organised labour

Aussie Unions Help Tsunami Victims
The union movement�s aid agency reports back on its relief effort in Asia.

The Locker Room
Game, Set and Yawn
Phil Doyle asks if tennis is evil or just boring

The Westie Wing
As a reshuffle of the State Ministry settles in and the Federal Government throws down the gauntlet, 2005 promises to be a new and vital chapter in the struggle for workers and their families, writes Ian West in Macquarie Street.

 Nelson's Double Standard
 Morals Beat Hasty Retreat
 Uncounted Cost Of Asbestos
 Voting Farce Expands
 I Beg To Differ
 Politics Smolitics
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Letters to the Editor

Uncounted Cost Of Asbestos

The insurance experts advise that injury arising from exposure to asbestos and asbestos products has been, and remains, the largest single financial burden faced by insurers on a global basis for the last three decades.

The cost to insurers from asbestos risks will be far greater in total than the costs arising from major natural events and, more recently, terrorism.

Medical researchers advise that research into the worst form of asbestoscancer, Mesothelioma, is very important because of the resistance of this disease to all forms of treatment, the increasing incidence of the disease worldwide and the need to relieve the terrible morbidity of the disease itself.

Furthermore, malignant Mesothelioma is expected to cost around $(US) 300 billion worldwide in compensation over the next 35 years and an

effective treatment will reduce this cost to the community.

This is only the financial side of this dreadful cancer caused only by asbestos.

The personal suffering caused by this disease is immeasurable.

The loss of their loved ones from Mesothelioma has inspired a Canberra group " The Asbestos Research Group" to attempt to raise $500,000 for medical

research which will be used specifically for Mesothelioma research.

The Asbestos Research Group held its first meeting on 23 June 2004 and by December 2005 had raised $100,000. In the next 12 months the group is

aiming to raise the remaining $400,000.

The group has enlisted the assistance of the Australian Lung Foundation (ALF). Under the ALF umbrella donations are tax deductible. The ALF will advertise for research proposals in 2005 and the successful proposal will be awarded the funds raised at an ALF award ceremony in March 2006.

The website for the Asbestos Research Group is

If anyone would like to make a donation cheques can be made payable to "The Australian Lung Foundation Tax Deductibility Account".

Elizabeth Thurbon


Asbestos Research Group


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