The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 284 07 October 2005  

Age of Consent
After more than five years of debating, cajoling and at times pleading, NSW workers have secured a set of cyber work rights worth celebrating.


Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement Ė and explains why Australians have nothing to fear from the SEIU.

Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Wal King, Allan Moss, Roger Corbett, Chip Goodyear, Michael Chaney and David Murray have lots in common, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: Un-Australian
Labour lawyer Clive Thompson argues the changes to IR are fundamentally at odds with the national tradition of consesensus.

Economics: The Common Wealth
As the policy wonks debate the future of our cities, Neale Towart mounts a simple argument: Itís the real people in a society, stupid

History: Walking for Justice
The Eight Hour Day, a very Australian celebration, had its origins in New Zealand it seems, writes Neale Towart.

International: Deja Vu
A group of trade unions have walked away from America's peak council, again. Labourstart's Eric Lee was there.

Legal: The Rights Stuff
Terror laws have sparked a fresh debate on a Bill of Rights - and workers have a bigger stake than ever before, writes Rachael Osman-Chin.

Review: That Cinderella Fella
Russell trades the phone for mitts in an inspiring cinematic slug-fest. Nathan Brown is ringside

Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
Mel Cheal asks who Howard thinks he is kidding to the tune of the ĎDadís Armyí theme song.


 Secret Policemen's Balls-Up

 Centrelink Breaches Cyber Law

 Examiner Pulps Cadet

 Food Truck Flattens Woman

 Will They Know It's Christmas?

 Death By Nestle

 Taskforce On Safety Charges

 Archbishop Preaches End Of Civilisation

 Union Drives Tassie Train

 PM Cold on Lunch Date

 Seafarers Scupper Sell Off

 Fraser Terror-fied

 Tribute to HT Lee

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
No Place For A Woman!
Doreen Borrow spoke to the Public Service Associationís womenís conference in September about her experiences of working life that span seven decades.

North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Locker Room
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West MLC, gets all casual in his latest missive from the Bear Pit.

 Ratís Army
 Kev's Confusion
 Make Ads Not Law
 Nice One, Workers!
 Dog Eat Dog
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees


Tool Shed

Dollars and Sense

Ken Phillips smashes down the door of the Tool Shed with an axe in a desperate desire to make a Tool of himself.


Most of the time the Tool Shed deals with your common garden variety loser who's made a name for themselves by offering some piece of whimsical logic that says more about them than the point they are usually failing to make.

But this week we have a man who has the heart of a pocket calculator, but with none of the utility.

Ken Phillips is the director of the work reform unit of the Institute of Public Affairs.

This, of course, is the sort of job you would expect to be filled by some bottom feeding pedant who has never actually done an honest days work in their lives.

But ken has excelled himself this week with an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald claiming that unions going into bat for safety don't help safety.

That unions trying to get justice for people killed and injured at work is apparently just some money making venture that his mates over at the IPA like to do.

Well, Ken and his mates might think that making bucks out of killing people is a good thing, god knows they do it all the time, but we in the union movement don't actually have that sort of sociopathic bent.

Ken was having a whine about unions launching prosecutions against companies that kill people as if the killers were somehow the victims.

What next? Ken's opinion piece on why all those people at Port Arthur kept jumping in the path of poor Martin Bryant's Bullets? Or will he produce a crafted piece on why Ivan Milat got a raw deal because hitchhikers were trespassing on freeways?

The thing is, no one recalls seeing Ken at Joel Exner's funeral.

He was also mightily absent from visiting Joel's mum, Sue Baxter, after her son was killed.

He couldn't even bring himself to name Joel in his op-ed piece. The 16 year old was a non-person to Ken; simply an arguing point.

What can we expect, he probably thinks Doonside is a golf course in Scotland. After all, it's nowhere near Hunter Street is it?

The IPA may like to reflect on the fact that we are talking about human life here, not some broken wheelbarrow; although, on Planet Ken a wheelbarrow is probably worth more than human life.

Ken actually showed his understanding of the situation, which is approximately three fifths of bugger all, when he claimed the Public Service association launched prosecutions to help teachers.

Well, even given that he got their jobs wrong, does Ken seriously suggest that the Teachers Aids should have smiled sweetly while being assaulted in their workplace?

If Ken thinks being assaulted in your workplace is OK then maybe we could take his arguments to their logical conclusion?

Thanks to Ken we can see exactly what the small-minded end of town actually thinks about workplace safety.

For them, as in everything else in their sad little lives, it's all about money.

The idea that dignity, humanity or even common bloody sense could ever be a motivation to treat people decently is just not on the radar of airheads like Ken.

One can only hope that society shows Ken Phillips the same sort of respect he showed Joel Exner, if ever Ken Phillips falls head first five metres onto a concrete slab without any protection.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

View our Gallery of Tools

Nominate a Tool!

Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Country: Your State:
The Tool you wish to nominate:
Type why you think this person should be Tool of the Week here:


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 284 contents

email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online