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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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Taskforce Loses "Payback" Evidence

Nigel Hadgkiss� Building Industry Taskforce has "lost" interview records at the centre of a former Detective Sergeant�s claims of "payback" and "victimisation".

Father of two, Michael McGann, has been unemployed since being dumped by the controversial Taskforce, last October.

This month, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, wrote to McGann to tell him the interview notes at centre of his claim against Hadgkiss had been "lost" by the Taskforce.

McGann had lodged the Freedom of Information request in a bid to prove his dumping was part of a Hadgkiss "vendetta".

The holder of the NSW Police's highest bravery award, the Valour Medal, is adamant he lost his Brisbane-based position because of evidence, critical of Hadgkiss, he gave to a 2003 Parliamentary committee.

"I told the inquiry Hadgkiss' investigators, at the Wood Royal Commission, fabricated evidence and he should have known about it," McGann said.

"As soon as I came onto his radar at the Building Industry Taskforce I was a marked man. In October, we had to reapply for our jobs and I was the only person not re-apponted."

Corporate former employers wrote recommendations on McGann's behalf but he was punted on October 26, last year.

Since then he has sought redress through the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission.

He says he is pursuing the issue to warn Australians about Hadgkiss.

"This has cost us sleep, money and peace of mind but it is not about the job any more. It is about Nigel Hadgkiss and the way he operates," McGann said.

"This Government is going to give the Building and Construction Commission sweeping coercive powers and people in authority should be considering if this is the man who should be in charge."

The 22-year law enforcement veteran is not the first former officer to raise questions about the Taskforce supremo.

Former undercover detective, Michael Kennedy, likened Hadgkiss to American "Lord of the Files", J Edgar Hoover.

In 2003, Kennedy swore evidence to the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs that when Hadgkiss had been its senior investigator, the Wood Royal Commission had routinely used illegal communications intercepts.

Kennedy told the committee Hadgkiss had used covert recordings to fit him up for falsely accusing members of the Joint Drugs Task Force of corruption. Years later, he said, Hadgkiss, himself, had taken credit for unmasking the same people.

Kennedy said he had lodged formal complaints about the "criminal and illegal activities of Hadgkiss" and others.


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