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Issue No. 262 06 May 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Rights and Wrongs
Something unseasonal and hitherto untoward has been occurring up at Macquarie Street in recent weeks, a flurry of legislative activity around workers rights.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Fortress NSW
NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca on how to win the battle for workers rights - and save the state system.

Unions: Fashions Afield
With new anti-sweatshop creations being paraded at this year's Australian Fashion Week, is equity the new black and are sweatshops the new fur? asks Tara de Boehmler.

Industrial: Pay Dirt
John Burgess argues that the flow-on effect from changing the minimum wage could be more than we bargained for.

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: Big Day Out
Neale Towart looks back on the events that created the May Day heritage.

International: Making History
Hundreds of aid organisations, charities, trade unions and religious groups have formed a global alliance called “ Make Poverty History”.

Economics: The Fear Factor
The solution to skill shortages is intelligent planning, argues John Spoehr

Review: The Robots Revolt
New kids flick Robot uses our electronic friends to teach audiences that inbuilt obsolescence is just a state of mind, writes Tara de Boehmler

Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The idea of a corporations power that could cure any ill has inspired our resident bard, David Peetz, to verse.

N E W S

 Harmer FACS Families

 Brats Drive Bus Row

 Harsh Reality – Bella Turns Pink

 Rev Kev Blesses Bosses

 Workers Online Legit

 Howard Rides Kiwi Model

 Della Opts for Gaol

 Feds in the Dock

 Carr Race to Bottom

 Bosses Walk on Water

 Govt Gets Claws into Nurses

 Ion Faces Legal Probe

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
May Spray
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson delivered the annual May Day Toast - and warned it is no time to be comfortable and relaxed.

The Locker Room
A Rucking Good Time
Phil Doyle reveals many things, some of them useful

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, is back to regale us with inside goss and intrigue from the Bearpit.

L E T T E R S
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News

Brats Drive Bus Row


Upstarts from Mater Maria College on Sydney’s North Shore showered abuse, including "wog" and "pig", on an immigrant bus driver before he drove them to Brookvale depot, this week.

The issue has blown up with the South American-born driver being suspended, and outraged parents claiming their mobile phone-toting offspring were "kidnapped".

Racists Drive Bus Row

Upstarts from Mater Maria College on Sydney's North Shore showered abuse, including "wog" and "pig", on an immigrant bus driver before he drove them to Brookvale depot, this week.

The issue has blown up with the South American-born driver being suspended, and outraged parents claiming their mobile phone-toting offspring were "kidnapped".

Police are investigating the parents' allegations.

But the Rail Tram and Bus Union has swung in behind the 15-year-veteran of Sydney buses.

RTBU Bus and Tram division president, Peter Jenkins, warned industrial action would greet any disciplinary action against the driver who has been stood down, on full pay, while the case is investigated.

"He has our full support," Jenkins said. "He is well respected and the feeling at the depot is heated."

Jenkins said the driver had done "absolutely" the right thing after consecutive days of abuse from Mater Maria students.

"He drove them back to the depot where they were safe and told management their behaviour was unacceptable and they should sort the matter out.

"They found a replacement driver to finish the run."

Jenkins said the driver had complained after being tormented and abused by the same youngsters on the Warriewood-Brookvale route the previous day.

STA sent a supervisor out with him on Wednesday afternoon to explain behavioural standards expected of passengers. Workers Online understands that as soon as the inspector left the vehicle, elements among the 40 Mater Maria students opened up on the driver again.

He responded by driving past their northern suburbs stops to the Brookvale depot where he handed the situation over to STA managers.

Jenkins said the driver had been seriously upset and considered the situation a health and safety hazard.

"We are saying it was not safe for him to continue driving in those circumstances," Jenkins said. "If he hadn't used his commonsense and taken the heat out of the situation we could be sitting here talking about a much more serious situation today."


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