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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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Computer Driven Posties

Management forced a postie to sign a medical release as he lay "doped up" in hospital after an accident where he had been left on his own by Australia Post management.

Other Posties are being "sweated" and bullied to achieve computer driven deadlines, forcing them to be clocked at speeds of up to 60km an hour on footpaths.

"I was never offered personal protective equipment," says Geoff*, who was run over by two cars while delivering mail.

Geoff was scathing of Australia post workloads that he says impacti on the elderly, as well as posties ability to do their job.

"They get you in the morning. They claim there's 200 letters when there's 300 and you have to work like a ball-breaker, going at 100 miles per hour to keep up to time."

Geoff was also critical of Australia Post's use of their employees' goodwill in the community while at the same time "abusing" those very employees.

"If you miss that time you have to make it up in your own."

"A lot of posties are part of their community, they'll go that extra yard for their customers.

"For a lot of older people in the community the postie is the only person they speak to."

* Geoff is an assumed name as Australia Post prohibits its employees from speaking

to the media.

Geoff is backed up by Joan Doyle, secretary of the Victorian branch of the CEPU, who claims that Posties are "timed to the minute" and that, while Australia Post has an official policy of health and safety at work, "the system of work doesn't support it".

"There is systematic bullying by some managers of those who are trying to do the right thing," says Doyle. "they simply cannot do the rounds in the time they're given."

"Posties just have to go flat chat all the time and it's not safe for them and it's not good for the community."

Motorcycle mechanics say that Australia Post bikes often operate with under inflated tyres because Posties simply don't have time to pump them up.


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