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Issue No. 283 30 September 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Revenge of the Footy Dads
The release of the second wave of ACTU TV advertising last weekend continues to take the debate around industrial relations into the broader community Ė and specifically the nationís footy grounds.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws wonít be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timorís young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.

N E W S

 Brazilians Score at Rocky

 PM Discounts Fair Go

 Centrelink Crashes Internet

 On Yer Bikes

 Road Toll Off The Rails

 Part-Timers in Bank Heist

 Itís Eight Against Eight

 OEA Says Plaque You

 Kez and Rupe Tighten Grip

 Feds Get Blank Cheque

 Rev Kev Absolves Killers

 Turning Business Upside Down

 Stink Over CountryLink Shrink

 Nurses Brush Sick Offer

 Men Make Permanent Choice

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

Postcard
On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.

L E T T E R S
 Four Cornered Rat
 Hrowadís Meixd Msesgaes
 Caveat Emptor
 Shop Front
 Petrol Price of War
 Unionist Slain
 Last Long Weekend
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Turning Business Upside Down


A group of Victorian academics want Australian business practices turned on their head.

Members of Monash University's business school say scandals such as James Hardie, and corporate collapses like One.Tel and Ansett are proof corporations should put employees, unions and environmental groups on an equal footing with shareholders.

"Directors could also be permitted to place stakeholders' interests ahead of shareholders where the company's reputation or long-term viability would be at risk if the directors failed to do so," they say in their submission to a senate inquiry into corporate responsibility.

The academics say current corporate law leaves employees vulnerable.

"Despite their enormous investment of 'human capital' in the firms for which they work, employees are still largely regarded as 'outsiders' by company law - with none of the information rights and measures to protect their interests enjoyed by 'insiders' such as shareholders and secured creditors," they say.

Most controversially, the academics advocate directors be directed to consider the interests of employees, creditors, consumers and environmental groups in their decision making, even in circumstances where it conflicts with the interests of shareholders and maximising profits.

Other submissions to the inquiry, including one by the ACTU, also point to infamous events such as the James hardy scandal as grounds for change, although not as radical a change as proposed by the Monash business school.

The ACTU says the difficulty asbestos victims have had in getting compensation from James Hardy illustrates the need for companies to not be allowed to set up systems of corporate entities that deliberately frustrate rightful compensation claims.

The ACTU also wants the federal government to encourage states and territories to make corporations subject to criminal laws relating to intentionally negligent or reckless causation of injury or death.


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