A Skillful Ruse
If you ever wanted a case study into the adage that big business is all about ‘privatising the profits and socialising the losses’ then look no further than the current skills crisis.
Evan Thornley was a labour activist. Then he rode the tech wave. Now he's home with new ideas on how Labor can win the economic debate.
Workplace: Dirt Cheap
In her new book, Elizabeth Wynhausen learns how hard it is to live on the minimum wage.
Industrial: Daddy Doesn’t Live With Us Anymore
Andreia Viegas’ tells the story of the loss her young family has felt since her husband was killed at work, and the need for justice for families who fall victim to industrial manslaughter.
Economics: Who's Afraid of the BCA?
Big Business's agenda for Australia has gone from loopy to mainstream at the speed of light, writes Neale Towart
International: From the Wreckage
Working people across Iraq are struggling to build their own independent unions – and are successfully organising industrial action on the vital oil fields as well as in hotels, transport outlets and factories, Writes Andrew Casey
Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones
History: Meat and Three Veg
A new book recounts the impact of the Depression on women workers, writes Neale Towart,
Savings: 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, writes Jim Marr.
Politics: Popping the 'E-Word'
Federal shadow treasurer Wayne Swan unveils Labor's new economic doctrine.
Poetry: To Know Somebody
This week saw an appointment to the ABC Board that was even more breathtaking than that of Liberal Party figure Michael Kroger. Resident Bard David Peetz celebrates the occasion with a reworking of an old Bee Gees hit.
Review: Off the Rails
A new play on the impact of rail privatisation in Britain has a poignant message for Sydney commuters, writes Alex Mitchell
Killer Company Sent Down
Once Upon a Time in Bexley
Defence Contractor at War
Steeple Takes a Tumble
Tribunal Goes the Bash
Nurses On Top
Uni Rolled on Casuals
Howard Strips GEERS
Septics Dump On Aussie Jobs
Banks Safety Interest
Feds Should Help Kids
Safety Stars at Opera House
Three Dollars Free For Readers
Toast the Days Of Old
Clinton Boycotts Hotel
Activist’s What’s On
The Big Picture
Think about this: It takes 150 tonnes of iron ore to buy a plasma TV, writes Doug Cameron.
The Locker Room
Reducto Ad Absurdo
Phil Doyle offers advice for the lovelorn, and finds that things are getting smaller
Work is In
The rise and fall of the working hours debate in france is relevent to Australian workers, writes Daniel Donahoo and Tim Martyn
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP surveys the upcoming conservative centralist collective attack.
The Auld Mug
Postcard from Harvard
Australian union officials making the annual pilgrimage to the Harvard Trade Union Program learnt that, at least, they are not alone, says Natalie Bradbury.
Banks Are Great
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Banks Safety Interest
ANZ bosses ignored four calls to improve safety before robberies at its Peakhurst branch left five staff suffering trauma and ongoing medical problems.
In the fourth robbery, on April 29, 2003, criminals used a sledge hammer to menace staff.
The bank was fined $175,000 this week after the Finance Sector Union proved it had failed to provide a safe workplace.
Before the first robbery in August 2002 the union had written to the bank about security at the branch.
After each robbery the FSU made submissions urging the bank to solve security problems.
Last year the bank spent $55 million improving security across its branch network.
The union's high profile prosecution of security failings at the ANZ's Brookvale branch prompted the upgrade. The bank was fined $156,000.
FSU assistant secretary, Mel Gatfield, says other banks should take a look at what the ANZ has been forced to do and improve their own security.
"They need to ensure staff aren't traumatised, injured or worse due to their focus on profits over safety," says Gatfield.
Gatfield is concerned any federal government moves to stop unions bringing prosecutions and hand powers over to the DPP or Workcover would let unsafe employers off the hook.
"After the first Peakhurst robbery we wrote to Workcover asking them to investigate and we didn't get a response," she says.
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