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Issue No. 290 18 November 2005  

The Long March
Half a million Australian workers turn out for the largest industrial protests the nation has ever seen, an old style symbol of resistance linked by new world technology, opposing laws from another galaxy.


Interview: Public Defender
The CPSU's Stephen Jones has confronted the Howard Government's IR agenda at close quarters.

Legal: Craig's Story
An inquest in western NSW is a cautionary tale of the use of AWAs, writes Ian Latham

Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
The WorkChoice legislation sends Australia down the wrong economic road by smashing the instittutions that have made it strong, argues Greg Combet.

Industrial: WhatChoice?
The Howard Government has shown itself to be the master of illusion, writes Dr Anthony Forsyth

Politics: Queue Jumping
The changes to industrial laws, betray a new vision of Australian society, writes James Gallaway.

History: Iron Heel
Conservative governments using laws to take away basic civil rights. It's nothing new, writes Rowan Cahill

Economics: Waging War
When was the last time you heard an Australian politician talk about incomes policy, asks Matt Thistlethwaite

International: Under Pressure
The push for UN intervention in Burma is intensifying, following a report by Vaclav Havel and Bishop Desmond Tutu into slave labour.

Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
More and more people are meeting Billy, the hero of page 15 of the WorkChoices booklet, including our resident bard, David Peetz

Review: A Pertinent Proposition
Nick Cave's "Australian western" touches on some themes still relevant today, Julianne Taverner writes.


 Aussies Shrug Off Threats

 PM Executes Back Flip

 National Rally Boosts Local Action

 Restaurateurs Do a Runner

 St Hilliers No Angels

 Penalties Frozen on Sundaes

 Slammer Threat for Operators

 Sunday Light on IR Shadows

 Sol Dials Up 12,000 Scalps

 Boss Likes Women 'Work-Hardened'

 Bread Winner on $9 an Hour

 King Goes the Gouge

 Jo Jacks Up

 Currawong Funds for IR Battle

 Howard Joins IR Rogues

 Arnie Terminated

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Men and Women of Australia
What makes a perfect speech? Michael Fullilove has scoured Australian history to find out.

The Locker Room
The Hungry Years
Phil Doyle gets the feeling we’ve been here before

From Little Things
Paul Kelly's song about the battle for land rights misses one important character, writes Graham Ring

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at Public Private Partnerships, and wonders if we should all just drink rum…

 Driven to despair
 What lucky country
 Swimming with Sharks
 Save Our Culture
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St Hilliers No Angels

A 58-year-old building worker is recovering from a fall at a Sydney construction site a week after a foreman scrawled “bullshit” over safety warnings.

Armando Quezada, a steel fixer from Fairfield, was taken to Mona Vale Hospital after falling more than three metres onto concrete at a St Hilliers site in Mona Vale.

The incident came a week after CFMEU officials warned management of a number of fall risks, including a lack of handrails, during an audit with the site's safety committee.

The CFMEU obtained minutes from the employer-union inspection, written by the site foreman, which had the word "bullshit" written next to issues raised.

"We expect these inspections to be carried out with a degree of integrity, and the last thing we need is to see notes with bullshit, bullshit, bullshit (written on them)," CFMEU North Shore organiser, Tom Mitchell said.

Mitchell said 130 workers walked off the job for a day and a half after the accident, as there were many parts of the job that were up to scratch on fall prevention.

CFMEU safety officer Dick Whitehead said St Hilliers sat on its hands on the issues raised.

"We've got an increasing amount of employers paying scant regard to safety issues being raised by unions," he said.

"I've been on the phone all morning arguing about safety with a number of employers."

Whitehead said it seemed employers were feeling emboldened by recent anti-union construction industry laws.

"This is only going to lead to more accidents - and tragically more deaths," he warned

He said St Hilliers was notorious for taking complaints to the union-busting Building Industry Taskforce.

The taskforce has since been beefed up as the Australian Building and Construction Industry Commission, with sweeping powers to interrogate building workers and impose thousands of dollars in fines for industrial action.


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