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Issue No. 299 17 March 2006  

For Queen and Country
There’s nothing like a Commonwealth Games – and one on home turf to boot – to get one thinking about Australia’s relationship with Britain and the monarch who still reigns over us.


Interview: Organising In Cyberspace
Workers Online speaks to the ACTU's Union Organiser of the Year, Greg Harvey from the RTBU, who has been using cutting edge ways to communicate with a blue-collar workforce spread across five states.

Industrial: How Low Is Low
Neale Towart looks at the much hyped link between minimum wages and employment

Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Govwernment has begun rolling out workshops to inform employers on how to use WorkChoices. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.

Unions: Bad Medicine
Nathan Brown reports on how Australia Post’s dodgy Faculty Nominated Doctor system is leaving sick workers feeling worse.

History: Right Turn, Clyde
Bob Gould believes news of Clyde Cameron’s demise may be premature

Economics: Long Division
Kenneth Davidson looks at a successful political strategy

International: Union Proud
A University of California librarian calls for union labels to increase worker visibility

Politics: Howard’s Sick Joke
Phil Doyle looks at an attack on one of the great achievements of the union movement

Indigenous: The year of living dangerously
That mob in parliament house seems to be hopelessly out of touch with Indigenous Australia. So much so, that Graham Ring wonders if the House on the Hill is becoming a ‘cultural museum’.

Review: Lights, Camera, Strike!
Mandrake the Electrician has been down to the video store over the summer and rounded up the Top Ten Union Movies of all time.

Culture: News Front
If the owners are selling off papers, perhaps the unions should buy them says Mark Dobbie.


 Fleas Bite Back

 Visa Boss Restrained

 Howard's Holiday Secrets

 Picket Buster Carpeted

 No Ticket No Start For Asbestos

 On The Road Again

 WorkChoices Goes Mental

 United Cuts Hit Turbulence

 Bad News for Bullies

 Vegie Contracts Poisonous

 Mac Attack

 Work Choices Canned

 Work Pressure Kills: Judge

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Australian Fascism
Rowan Cahill critiques Gerard Henderson’s unique take on history

Westie Wing
Will Westie's Wings be clipped, or will the Hills Angels repent and deliver?

The Locker Room
The Heart Of The Matter
Phil Doyle rolls up the red carpet and celebrates the death of an old foe

 Revelations of St John
 Save Frost
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Picket Buster Carpeted

A contractor who drove through a picket line in his four-wheel drive has been barred from a North Queensland workshop.

AMWU members at Hastings Deering, Townsville, are celebrating the banning of Clifford Buckby, following an Industrial Relations Commission conference, last week.

"He has been barred from the workshop and driving around the site," AMWU organiser and former Hastings Deering delegate, Rick Finch, reported.

"The guys are relieved he can't interact with our workshop people. That's what they wanted."

Workers Online understands the compromise settlement restricts Buckby to the carpark, office and spare parts department , and, requires the company to notify the delegate whenever Buckby is on the premises.

The action stemmed from an incident in October, 2003, in which Buckby drove his vehicle at workers seeking an improved enterprise bargaining agreement.

AMWU member, Andrew Burton, was forced to cling onto the bulbar of Buckby's landcruiser. Witnesses say the earth moving contractor drove another 30 metres with Burton attached.

One hundred angry unionists demanded that he be barred from their workplace as a health and safety risk but Hastings Deering said it would take no action until legal processes were exhausted.

On December 20, last year, Buckby was found guilty of dangerous driving by magistrate, Laurie Vera.

Mr Vera said he was satisfied Buckby had exposed picketers to real danger.

However, when employees sought action against him, Hastings again refused.

They backed their concern with a mass petition and the commission action.

"People are still angry about his behaviour," Finch said. "We were acting in support of our EBA when he drove his four-wheel drive at picketers.

"It was the only piece of bad feeling during the dispute. People were always happy to work on his equipment and deal with his people but they didn't want him in the workshop."


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