||Issue No. 286||21 October 2005|
Lord of the Lobster Legs
Interview: Under Fire
Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Economics: The Common Wealth
History: Walking for Justice
International: Deja Vu
Legal: The Rights Stuff
Review: That Cinderella Fella
Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
The Locker Room
Thus Spake Sydney Uni
Vote 1 Dictator
Buying peace Of Mind
Rev Kev Speaks
Hardie Shuts the Door
Hardie locked out 100 workers at its Meeandah concrete pipe factory for 28 hours in response to a stop work meeting fuelled by the company's plan to break up a cross-site enterprise agreement.
Workers at Hardie's Carole Park site, the other site covered by the current enterprise agreement, went on strike while the lock out took place.
Hardie wants separate agreements for the two sites.
AMWU State Secretary Andrew Dettmer said Hardie's demands were "amazing" as the company originally requested the single agreement a few years ago.
"There is an element of 'what the hell are they on about'," Dettmer said.
"All we can think of, is it's so the company can have a freer hand - they're using the old divide and rule."
Dettmer said Hardie's response to the stop work meetings was "the typical James Hardie approach of using a sledge hammer to crack a nut."
He said workers would continue to hold stop work meetings every Wednesday until workers get what they want.
The dispute came as Labor MLC Ian West levelled serious allegations against senior figures in the company in NSW Parliament.
In an adjournment debate, West asked if there was any truth to suggestions chief executive Louis Gries was sacked from a US company for "falsifying work force safety statistics".
"To this day, the CEO of James Hardie maintains a strange silence, relying on an alleged confidentiality agreement with his former boss to not answer questions about his past professional conduct," West said.
Claims were also raised about chief financial officer Russell Chernu being in the executive of an Indonesian James Hardie asbestos factory which closed, shed 100 staff, and re-opened months later.
West said Hardie's chairwoman Marian Hellicar was being investigated by ASIC over her role in the withdrawal of funds for asbestos victims in 2003.
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