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Issue No. 302 07 April 2006  

The Cowra Clause
The plight of the Cowra meatworkers is a fitting illustration of the way the new industrial laws will fundamentally shift the balance of relations in the Australian workplace.


Interview: Head On
John Buchanan has been warning that WorkChoices would be a car crash. Now he surveys the damage.

Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
CFMEU Mining national secretary Tony Maher lets fly at the new industrial laws.

Industrial: Vital Signs
In his new book, Craig Emerson argues that destroying unionism will not be in Australia's long term interests.

Economics: Taxing Times
Frank Stilwell argues that there are progressive alternatives to the slash and burn approach to tax reform.

Environment: It Ainít Necessarily So
Don't let anyone tell you that jobs and the environment are opposities, argues Neale Towart.

History: Melbourneís Hours
Neale Towart reluctantly pays homage to Victoria's celebration of the eight hour day.

Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
John Howard is deciding more and more foreign workers should come into this country - without the rights of citizenship, writes John Sutton,

Review: Pollie Fiction
For someone barely 25 years Sarah Doyle has an enviable track record in theatre behind her.

Poetry: The Cabal
Poetry returns to Workers Online with this rollicking ode to employer power.


 Abattoir Boss Slaughters Andrews

 More Slaughter in South Australia

 Pickets Won't Face Cannon

 Teens Win Thousands

 Praise the Laws

 Where The Bloody Hell Is Our Contract?

 Building Crusade Raids Pockets

 Workers Shows Its Hand

 It's All Yellow, Mine Barons

 Lismore Nine Breaks Ranks

 Uber Bosses Clean Up

 Howard's Skills Solution: Sack Apprentices

 Spineless Companies Block Safety

 Boxall in Sickie Backflip

 Activist's What's On!


Democracy in Action
Former NSW Premier Neville Wran's speech to commemorate 150 years of responsible government.

The Westie Wing
There has been activity aplenty in the NSW Parliament this month, reports Ian West.

The Soapbox
From Chaver to Cobber
John Robertson, Unions NSW Secretary, hosting Passover at Sydney Trades Hall discovers the first comrades followed a bloke called Moses.

Postcard from New Orleans
Mark Brenner surveys the long-term impact of Hurricane Katrina on the regions workers.

The Locker Room
My Country Right Or In Lane Five
Phil Doyle observes the golden shower at the recent Commonwealth Games, and asks what it means for the last great unpredictable drama.

Vale Bill Hartley
Unlike some of his comrades, Bill Hartley never departed from his position as a radical nor did he die rich in assets, writes Bob Scates.

 Crap TV
 Social Action
 French revolution
 Fan Mail
 Belly Spreads The Word
 All Out!
 Lying Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
 Help Wanted
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Spineless Companies Block Safety

Two Adelaide companies used the new federal workplace laws to stop a safety inspection at the site where a worker fell six metres down a lift well.

The worker survived but officials from the CFMEU say it is suspected that his spinal cord is severed and may never walk again.

The company concerned, All State Recycling and Demolition, came to the attention of unions after a worker had his head severed by a concrete saw.

"Our delegate wanted to inspect the scene but was denied because we hadn't given 24 hours written notice. That means we couldn't inspect this accident site in its original condition," says Martin O'Malley from the CFMEU. "The CFMEU's number one job is to protect workers from death and injury."

"Yet the $34 million Australian Building and Construction Commission designed to stymie unions at every turn, the new IR laws make it harder and harder for us to maintain safety standards," says O'Malley.

"CFMEU members are rallying outside the accident site today to draw public attention to the increased dangers facing workers as a result of the new federal laws."

"We want tough action taken against the two companies involved - Cox Constructions and All State Recycling and Demolition - who have a shocking track record in relation to industrial accidents."

"Last year, an accident at a Cox Constructions worksite resulted in a man being minced to death from the feet up in an escalator. "These deaths and injuries take too long to investigate. While offences with the potential to cause death, such as drink driving attract immediate financial penalties and even jail terms, someone responsible for the death of a worker faces no repercussions for years, if at all" Mr O'Malley says.

"The sad reality is that companies cut corners on worker safety because they can get away with it - and the new laws assist them by restricting unions from being safety watchdogs." Mr O'Malley says.


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