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Issue No. 262 06 May 2005  

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.


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.


 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


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

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

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Della Opts for Gaol

Negligent killer bosses face gaol under the Workplace Fatalities Bill introduced to the NSW Parliament, this week.

Unions, whose members have campaigned for such sanctions for years, gave Industrial Relations Minister, John Della Bosca, a cautious thumbs-up after the legislation was unveiled.

The Carr Government moved after rallies of up to 10,000 people descended on Macquarrie St in the wake of workplace deaths.

Families of teenagers, Dean McGoldrick and Joel Exner, killed on building sites after being denied basic safety protections, played key roles in putting politicians on the spot.

So did widowed Mum, Andreia Viegas, whose husband Glen was killed, last October.

"I congratulate the unions - the AMWU and CFMEU - that have campaigned so long for this legislation," Viegas said this week.

"I also congratulate the government but it will be of no use at all unless we continue to have strong unions that can get into workplaces to make sure there are no more deaths and no more children without a father or mother."

Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, said that while the bill wasn't perfect it was an important step forward.

"The real measure of success will be whether or not it saves lives in NSW workplaces," he said.

Della Bosca's Occupational Health and Safety (Workplace Deaths) Bill introduces five year prison sentences for employers found to be recklessly negligent over the death of an employee.

Individuals can be fined up to $165,000 while corporations may be fined up to $1.65 million.

Prosecutions under the legislation will be heard by the Industrial Relations Commission, in court session, and, in the event of a prison term, can be appealed to the court of Criminal Appeal.


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