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Issue No. 252 18 February 2005  

Wood for the Trees
In the book that may never become a film, ‘Eucalyptus’, a father will not give his daughter away unless her suitor can name every tree on the property.


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.


 Families On the Rack

 Detention Centre for Darling Harbour

 Transit Officers' Close Shave

 Truckies Drive Mac Attack

 We Have Way of Making You Walk

 Howzat – Murali Spun Out

 Show Me The Money

 Walter’s Mates Pay

 Retailer Sells Out Workers

 Financiers Squash Capital Idea

 Taskforce Stands Over Families

 Big Australian Changes the Rules

 Bodyguards Stabbed In Back

 Big Brother Stirs Up Porridge

 Carr Sees Trees for Wood

 Activist’s What’s On


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.

 Toxic Talk
 Millstone Revealed
 But Then Again
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Taskforce Stands Over Families

The Building Industry Taskforce is threatening Perth families with five-figure fines over a dispute that was settled three months ago.

Taskforce agent, Marcus Clarke, has sent letters to hundreds of homes threatening $6500 fines on CFMEU members who struck to pull Leightons Kumagai into line with established practice on night work.

CFMEU representative, Joe McDonald, says members on the Metro Rail Project struck after the company "welshed" on assurances that workers, other than tunnellers, would not be required to do night shifts.

Section 127 Orders were given against the industrial action but workers took control of the dispute and stayed out.

"Our members won. They reached an agreement with Leightons three months ago and everyone went back to work," McDonald said.

"Leightons never involved the Taskforce but they, of their own volition, started sending threatening letters to workers homes months after the matter was resolved."

McDonald said the CFMEU was warning members about speaking openly at meetings and watching out for listening devices and provocateurs.

The Taskforce was in the gun during Senate Estimates, last year, over secret recordings, then a listening device was found in the delegate's office on a Grollo job in Melbourne.

"(Taskforce boss Nigel) Hadgkiss and Co have come out and said they are looking for informants and there has been a question mark over his use of listening devices for years," McDonald said.

"How else can they gather evidence for these prosecutions?

"This is a new low in industrial relations. It is about intimidation, singling out individuals and threatening their families in a bid to hold down earnings.

"The Taskforce has made its intentions clear and our people have to be careful for their own sakes and the sakes of their families."

Meanwhile, longtime AWU official, Sam Wood, has taken up a roll with the Taskforce as trade union liaison officer. No building industry unions, including the AWU, were commenting on the appointment this week.


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