||Issue No. 261||29 April 2005|
Lest We Forget
Interview: [email protected]
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Employers Desecrate Graves
Unions say the move by peak business group the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its head Peter Hendy was akin to using ANZAC Day to call for war pensions to be reviewed.
"The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has no respect for workers at all, " says Unions NSW secretary John Robertson. "This is tasteless in the extreme."
"This hypocrisy needs to be condemned,' says Peter McClelland, NSW CFMEU president. "You only have to look at a union workplace to find a safer workplace.
"The plain objective of the ACCI is to de-unionise and restrict access of unions in the workplace."
ACCI chief Peter Hendy went on television to call for the overhaul of occupational health and safety laws as thousands of Australians gathered to remember colleagues, family and friends who have been killed at work.
Robertson joined NSW Premier Bob Carr, religious leaders and families of those killed at work at a ceremony in Sydney's Darling Harbour where a park and memorial was dedicated to the memory of workers killed on the job.
Andreia Jones-Viegas, who lost her husband Glen at a building site last year, addressed an emotional service, saying safety need to be a bigger priority for employers and governments.
"Everyone remembers ANZAC Day and the soldiers who sacrificed their lives," said Viegas. "But most people ignore the hundreds of Australian men and women who die each year fighting to put food on the table for their family. Men like my husband Glen.
"Every year more than 400 workers are killed, destroying their families. This figure will grow if the Federal government carries through its threat to restrict right of entry to union officials to inspect safety."
Gatherings around the nation echoed Andreia's call, reflecting growing concern by workers that proposed changes to workplace laws would compromise safety.
"All our wealth is based on the graves of workers who have perished,' said Premier Carr at the unveiling of the Reflection Park memorial. "Especially before there was decent OHS. You don't get those things without giving trade unions rights."
Five million workers in more than 100 countries took part in International Day of Mourning remembrance services around the globe.
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