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Issue No. 265 27 May 2005  

Hit and Myth
John Howard came to power on the back of a myth about the sort of Australia we had once been; now he is creating a new myth about the sort of Australia we want to become.


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.


 Sign or You're Gone

 Unions Back a Winner

 Howard Chases Nurses

 Victims Champ Joins Resistance

 Red and Green Blue

 Usual Suspects Lead Cheer Squad

 Ugly Australian On Charges

 Aussies Longer and Harder

 Guard Attached, Then Sacked

 Doh – Homero Loses Voice

 Bunbury Families Win Payouts

 Double Standards For Dads

 Libs Back 'Illegal' Rally

 TAFE Teaches A Lesson On Winning

 Activist’s What’s On!


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.

 One Hell Of A Job
 US Fan Mail
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Letters to the Editor

One Hell Of A Job

Dear Sir.

Whilst browsing the net I came across an article on the "Employer from Hell" who is a mining contractor and won this award in Tasmania.

I have recently had the unfortunate experience of working for this company and would say without fear of contradiction that this company displays an attitude towards safety and it's employees that I have not seen for the previous 20 years within the mining industry.

I was employed as a shift supervisor and was expected to have my crew work with unsafe equipment and this was actively encouraged and promoted by the site manager and foreman. Danger tags placed on equipment by my crew were torn off the next shift and the gear sent back to work and this gear was then presented to us a shift later in the same unsafe condition.

This came to a head when I advised the foreman that my crew would under no circumstances use unsafe gear. Two days latter I was advised that I was being "Culled" and was finished up on the day.

I have no problem with this and am happy that my association with this company has ceased. My concern is that these type of mining contractors will continue to put people at risk and employee "Dinosaurs" to manage their sites and even more worrying manage their people.

This cost me a position that paid in excess of $100,000,but it would not be enough for me to lower my standards to these peoples level of safety and regard to their well being of their people.

Unfortunately we did not have any union representation on site and the OHAS rep was frightened that he would lose his job to the extent that he could do nothing.

As an industry the mining industry still has a long way to go to eliminate these donkeys and there is a need for a greater union presence in the Wa industry.

We all need to come home at the end of the shift.

The best of luck in your endeavours and congrats on a good read.

Robert Warburton


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