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Issue No. 286 21 October 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Lord of the Lobster Legs
It was probably only shame that prompted the Prime Minister to drag himself away from a $250 per head fundraiser to meet with a group of emergency workers in Wollongong this week. But, this in itself may be a development.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Family Grieves an Enterprise Worker

 All Quiet in Dandenong

 Hotline Gets Wires Crossed

 High Flyer Crashes Families

 Bolt Strikes Lecturer

 Good Heavens - Della Plays Santa

 Maori Take Challenge to Canberra

 Drips Fail Water Test

 Hardie Shuts the Door

 Hadgkiss Threatens Protesters

 Army Fires Salvo

 The Munro Doctrine

 IR Sparks Emergency Call

 Tassie Jobs Hit By Truck

 Canberra Coy on Promised Statements

 Inquiry to Speak No Evil

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

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.

Postcard
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
Disaster
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

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

L E T T E R S
 Sacking For Dummies
 DIY Tool
 Thus Spake Sydney Uni
 Morgan’s Way
 Vote 1 Dictator
 Howard’s Choice
 Buying peace Of Mind
 Coolies Bullish
 Unfair ads
 Rev Kev Speaks
 Politicians
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Hardie Shuts the Door


Former asbestos manufacturer James Hardie is locking out Brisbane workers for holding stop work meetings over agreement negotiations.

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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