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Issue No. 255 11 March 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Dot.Com
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

N E W S

 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

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
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

New Matilda
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

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP surveys the upcoming conservative centralist collective attack.

Postcard
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.

L E T T E R S
 The Auld Mug
 Banks Are Great
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Safety Stars at Opera House


Sydney's iconic Sydney Opera House is celebrating safety with a week of activities developed by the House's award winning OHS Committee.

The third annual Safety Week program is set to make OHS fun as well as getting important information out to staff with stress management, Tai Chi and Pilates complimenting seminars on such safety staples such as risk management, first aid and manual handling, to name but a few.

The week already looks set to be a success with over 400 participants attending 34 events. Participants are also coming from the State Library, Opera Australia, Sydney Dance Company, the Sydney Convention and exhibition centre and on-site contractors.

"We've developed a good quality program," says OHS Committee member Rachel Franks. "And we've been able to adapt that program to the staff."

Franks puts the success of the Opera House's OHS Committee down to its diversity.

"We're very lucky that the Opera House is an amazing place operating within an amazing industry," says Franks. "Everyone wants to contribute.

"It's not just the responsibility to employees, but also ensuring the safety of the millions of visitors the Opera House receives every year."

Nick Davidson from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) has praised the work of the Opera House OHS Committee and its co-operative spirit, fully endorsing the activities of safety week.

"The Opera House is not dissimilar to a building site,' says Davidson. "There are significant dangers in working in theatre."

The Opera House OHS Committee was recognised with a UnionSafe Safety Achievement Award in 2003.


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