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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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Bosses Duck Decapitation

A Sydney building worker was decapitated in the same week company directors called on the Howard Government to water down safety laws.

Brendan Brown was killed instantly, and three others seriously injured, after prefabricated flooring collapsed on the Baseline Constructions site in Rhodes.

Building workers were using a crane to place the flooring when the accident occurred at the site where 300 residential units are being built.

Glen Inmer, 38, was taken to hospital with broken ribs, a broken leg and suspected head injuries after rescue crews freed him from beneath one of the concrete panels.

Daniel Reeves, 28, and Shane Banks, 31, also received treatment for injuries.

Brown, 43, leaves behind a wife and children.

"The CFMEU and WorkCover will be conducting a thorough investigation of this tragic death and will be looking to identify and rectify the cause to prevent it occurring," says CFMEU Safety Officer, Dick Whitehead, who said it was the fifth building site accident in NSW since Christmas.

"I'm calling on the Federal Government to spend more time with OH&S, and instead of winding the national occupational health and safety outfit back, to increase its staff."

The Australian Institute of Company Directors has called for occupational health and safety laws to be included in the Howard government's plans to create a single national industrial relations system.

Media reports indicate that the employers' push is driven by fears that proposed industrial manslaughter legislation will be too onerous on directors and executives.

"The community understands that if you kill someone while driving negligently you will face a gaol term," says CFMEU NSW Secretary Andrew Ferguson. "Why should negligent employers who kill be any different?"

Widow backs safety

Meanwhile the widow of a construction worker electrocuted at Westfield Shopping Centre at Tuggerah last year is determined that no other family should go through a similar trauma.

Andreia Viegas will be visiting construction sites this year talking to workers about the importance of safety as part of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's continuing safety campaign.

Glen Viegas died on October 24 last year after he cut through a live electric cable.


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