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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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Picketers Chase Millions

Building workers are refusing to be left high and dry by the collapse of industry major, Walter Construction.

Employees of the company were today picketing sites across the state in a bid to have clients stump up $20 million in entitlements.

Three Sydney Water sites, in Sydney and Wollongong, were coming in for attention, along with other former Walter jobs.

CFMEU members are putting the heat on Walter's former clients, arguing they must make good on moneys owed because they will benefit from the unpaid work.

"This is about justice," CFMEU secretary, Andrew Ferguson, said, "making sure the people who did the work get paid for it."

While Sydney Water is holding out of former Walter employees, Workers Online understands that some clients have already come to the party.

Other union members are picketing a Villawood machinery yard that houses assets of the company, after it was revealed the German parent will benefit from any sales proceeds.

Over 500 employees of Australia's 18th largest building company were sacked today.

They are owed over $20 million dollars in entitlements.

Building Trade Group secretary, Tony Papa, says administrators estimate workers will receive about 70 cents in the dollar, but even that is not certain.

"They have only got $10 million in the pool, and don't forget the administrators are drinking out of that pool too," says Papa.

The failed company also owes over a thousand sub-contractors in excess of $200 million.

Rigger, Danny Callaghan, who has been with Walter for 19 years, says without the money life will be tough until he can find another job.

The father of four has been forced to put off job hunting so he can look after his fianc�e who is recovering from an operation.

Callaghan was planning to marry in April and only moved into the dream home he built three weeks before Christmas.

He believes the Government should legislate to force companies to keep worker entitlements in trusts similar to those that hold redundancy, superannuation and long service leave.

The CFMEU is calling on the Liberal and Labor parties to return all donations received from the company.

Over the last four years, Walter Construction Group contributed $143,333 to the Liberal Party and $2200 to the ALP.


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