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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 � 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: It�s 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 �Dad�s Army� 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 Association�s women�s 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.

 Rat�s Army
 Kev's Confusion
 Make Ads Not Law
 Nice One, Workers!
 Dog Eat Dog
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Taskforce On Safety Charges

John Howard's Building Industry Taskforce took legal action to try and stymie safety inspections at a company where two workers narrowly escaped death, last week.

An apprentice and a tradesman were admitted to hospital after being struck by falling scaffolding on building site at The Entrance, operated by MPM Construction.

CFMEU organiser, Pomare Auimatagi, said the apprentice's hard hat saved him from "serious damage" when a crane dropped a mixed load over the slab he and the tradesman were working on.

"They hauled a load over power wires and above the two men on the concrete slab," Auimatagi said. "It broke open and they were both struck by falling scaffolding."

The Building Industry Taskforce that John Howard transformed into a permanent Building and Construction Commission, last week, used taxpayers money to try and block CFMEU monitoring of MPM safety standards.

It has taken action, on behalf of MPM, to have right of entry permits removed from three experienced organisers. Removal of the permits would mean the trio could no longer do their jobs.

Its case against Northern Beaches organiser, Tommy Mitchell, was thrown out of the IRC, last month.

Decisions are still pending on bids to put Martin Wyer and David Glass out of work.

CFMEU assistant secretary, Brian Parker, said the case against Mitchell had been "ridiculous".

"Honestly, when they brought on their evidence you would have thought their witnesses were ours," Parker said.

He labelled Taskforce action "disgraceful" and said the organisation had "blood on its hands" after the Central Coast accident.

"Safety has been a real issue with this company," Parker said. "But the Taskforce used taxpayers money to try and ensure it had a free hand.

"MPM's track record has been ordinary but, to be fair, there are signs of improvement. That's because of our efforts and in spite of the Taskforce."

Auimatagi said the two injured workers had returned to light duties, this week, after treatment for head and arm injuries.

He said the incident, and the prosecution of the employer responsible for apprentice Joel Exner's death, had heightened awareness of health and safety on the Central Coast.

"The Taskforce is trying to block our work but the boys are coming out from behind the pillars and talking," Auimatagi said.


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