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Issue No. 261 29 April 2005  

Lest We Forget
Just four days separate Anzac Day and the International Day of Mourning for Deaths at Work, but in the eyes of our leaders the gap could be 100 years.


Interview: [email protected]
Labor's Penny Wong has the job of getting more people into the workplace and keeping companies honest. In her spare time ....

Unions: State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson unveils the annual survey of attitudes of workers to their jobs, thier lives and the union.

Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Jim Marr unpacks the unlikely claim of a suburban house to be considered the New Mecca of the New Right Ö

Legal: Leg Before Picket
Chris White looks at how the federal industrial changes will impact on the basic right to strike.

Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Neale Towart asks why the only form of legitmate welfare seems to be going to the top end of town.

Health: Cannabis Controversy
Zoe Reynolds looks at how drug and alcohol testing is leading to some addled outcomes.

Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
As the indicators head south, Frank Stilwell wonders whether it is the way we do economics that is to blame.

History: Politics In The Pubs
Phil Doyle reports on the increasingly-popular Struggles, Scabs and Schooners day out.

Review: Three Bob's Worth
Doing their best Margaret and David, Tara de Boehmler and Tim Brunero have different takes on the new Australian flick Three Dollars.

Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
Workers Online bard David Peetz teaches how workers to dance to Howard's industrial laws.


 Employers Desecrate Graves

 Blackadder Bones Boss

 Tights Fail In Flight

 Dick Tracy Booted In Blacktown

 Cops Not Fashion Victims

 Picnic On for Working Families

 Skinny Pay Starves Weight Watchers

 Banks Get Work For Free

 Aged Care Workers Off Their Feet

 Cleaners Clean Up

 VSU Bad for Business

 Unions Urge Fair Go For Timorese

 Activistís Whatís On!


The Soapbox
Notes From a Laneway
Mental Health Workers Alliance member Toby Raeburn shares a week on the frontline.

The Locker Room
War, Plus The Shooting
The Socceroos arenít their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes the secret passage out of Macquarie Street to deliver his take on NSW Parliamentary Committees and other goings on.

 It's Criminal
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Employers Desecrate Graves

Bosses chose the International Day of Mourning for those killed at work to call for occupational health and safety laws to be dumped.

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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