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Issue No. 251 11 February 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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, itís a whole new ball game.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Plastic Man Crosses the Line

 Taskforce Loses "Payback" Evidence

 Court Out Ö 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

C O L U M N S

Politics
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

Postcard
Aussie Unions Help Tsunami Victims
The union movementís 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

Parliament
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.

L E T T E R S
 Nelson's Double Standard
 Morals Beat Hasty Retreat
 Uncounted Cost Of Asbestos
 Voting Farce Expands
 I Beg To Differ
 Politics Smolitics
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Plastic Man Crosses the Line


A businessman with three homes and two Porsches has flicked 110 staff to set-up shop across the road.

ABM Plastics owner, Abe Waisman, is planning the new development, ABM Seal Pac, a stoneís throw from picketing former employees dudded of $2.5 million in redundancy pay.

AMWU organiser, Jamie Bellerby, says Porsche-driving Waisman owns a "mansion" in Brighton, and properties at Lorne and on the Sunshine Coast.

Stranded workers have been left battling administrators who want them to complete the last month of work, but to accept only 20 cents in the dollar on their redundancy entitlements.

Some have been at ABM Plastics, located in Melbourne's Braeside, for over 25 years and are owed 18 months worth of redundancy.

Meanwhile, staff have told Amcor, the company that bought factory machinery from the administrators, none of it will cross their picket line.

"We aren't going to let fitters in to unbolt them unless these guys get what is rightfully theirs," Bellerby says.

Staff are disappointed that the administrator, GE finance, backed out of 11th hour deal that would have sold ABM Plastics to a company keen to continue operations and retain more than half the workforce.

"All the parties need to get together and work out how we are going to make up the $1 million shortfall," says Bellerby.

"That includes unions, creditors, administrators and the new purchaser, Amcor.

"We need to achieve a better outcome, so workers get their full entitlements, the administrator can recover at least 90 percent of their clients debt instead of 60, and Amcor can have it's machinery when and where it sees fit."


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