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Issue No. 272 15 July 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Home Ground Advantage
American pollster Vic Fingerhut has been in Australia this week with a reassuring message to the labour movement - it's OK to stand up for what you believe in - and it might even win you elections.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Battle Stations
Opposition leader Kim Beazley says he's ready to fight for workers right. But come July 1, he'll have to be fighting by different rules.

Unions: The Workers, United
It was a group of rank and filers who took centre stage when workers rallied in Sydney's Town Hall, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: The Lost Weekend
The ALP had a hot date, they had arranged to meet on the Town Hall steps, and Phil Doyle was there.

Industrial: Truth or Dare
Seventeen ivory towered academics upset those who know what is best for us last week.

History: A Class Act
After reading a new book on class in Australia, Neale Towart is left wondering if it is possible to tie the term down.

Economics: The Numbers Game
Political economist Frank Stilwell offers a beginners guide to understanding budgets

International: Blonde Ambition
Sweden can be an inspiration to labour movements the world over, as it has had community unionism for over 100 years, creating a vibrant caring society, rather than a "productive" lean economy.

Training: The Trade Off
Next time you go looking for a skilled tradesman and can’t find one, blame an economist, writes John Sutton.

Review: Bore of the Worlds
An invincible enemy has people turning against one another as they fight for survival – its not just an eerie view of John Howard’s ideal workplace, writes Nathan Brown.

Poetry: The Beaters Medley
In solidarity with the workers of Australia, Sir Paul McCartney (with inspiration from his old friend John Lennon) has joined the Workers Online resident bard David Peetz to pen some hits about the government's proposed industrial relations revolution.

N E W S

 PM Rallies on Spin

 Crafty Boss Bytes Staff

 Andrews Faces "Thuggery" Challenge

 Delta Blues

 NRL Plays Man Not Ball

 Boeing Hits Turbulence

 Whole Truth Eludes Rev Kev

 Correct Weight Caulfield

 Business Nervous Over IR Changes

 Last Weekend Gets a Lift

 Free Pass for Death Doctors

 Activists Whats On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson lifts the lid on ‘The Nine Myths of Modern Unionism’

The Locker Room
Wrist Action
Phil Doyle trawls the murky depths of tawdry sleaze, and discovers Rugby is behind it all.

Culture
To Hew The Coal That Lies Below
Phil Doyle reviews Australia's first coal mining novel, Black Diamonds and Dust.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite State MP, Ian West, reports from Macquarie Street that the Premier is all the way with a State Commission.

L E T T E R S
 Do It Yourself?
 Goodthink
 The vision thing
 True Lies
 You C.A.N. Do It
 Water Works
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Boeing Hits Turbulence


US aerospace giants are using the "corporate veil" to deny Aussie union members their shares of millions of dollars in agreed bonuses, the AMWU alleges.

The union claims Hawker de Havilland, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing, is illegally discriminating against more than 1000 members employed at Port Botany and Port Melbourne.

Workers on collective agreements were shocked when the company denied them $1300 bonuses, last year. The company quarantined payouts to workers on individual contracts and senior staff, and financial analysts believe this year's payouts could hit $3000 a head.

Payments under Boeing's Share Values Trust arrangement are triggered by the company's share price.

The AMWU and APESMA won the right to pursue discrimination action, last month, when Federal Court Justice Donnell Ryan granted them leave to file an amended claim, and to discover documents.

The documents controlling the Share Values Trust are held at Boeing's Seattle headquarters and its subsidiary has stone-walled efforts to see them.

"Hawker de Havilland hides behind the terms of the trust but has made it extremely difficult for anyone in Australia to see them," AMWU spokesman, Maurice Addison, said.

"We have been asking to see them for the last nine months, without success."

Essentially, Addison says, the company says it cannot be held accountable for arrangements entered into by its parent.

"Our claim is that it is unlawful, under Australian law, to discriminate against workers under the freedom of association provisions of the Workplace Relations Act," Addison says.

"They are using the corporate veil to try to dodge their obligations under Australian law."

Australian workers, union and non-union, had expected to be paid under terms set out by Boeing in 1996.

Addison said when it became apparent the distribution point would be triggered, last year, delegates asked managers about allocations and had been assured everyone would qualify.

The company now claims that the US deed precludes payouts to anyone on a collective agreement.

Justice Ryan rejected Hawker's bid to have the discrimination action thrown out. It has been set down for a directions hearing on September 9.

Blue Goes Global

Meanwhile, locked out workers at Boeing Williamtown RAAF base are taking their campaign for a collective agreement global.

The International Metalworkers' Union has offered assistance to the locked out workers.

An email campaign is featured on the IMF's website .

Those supporting the Boeing workers are writing letters of protest to the following people:

John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia

Senator Robert Hill, Federal Minister for Defence [email protected]

Kevin Andrews, Federal Minister for Workplace Relations [email protected]

David Gray, Managing Director, Boeing Australia Limited [email protected]

W. James Mc Nerney, Chairman, President and CEO, Boeing World Headquarters [email protected]


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