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Issue No. 308 26 May 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

If the Answer is Nuclear ….
At least George Dubya still has some influence. Not in his own country, certainly not in Europe, not even in the former dominions of Latin America.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Reverend Jim Wallis is leading a crusade to take the moral debate into the public arena.

Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Government has begun a series of workshops to sell its WorkChoice vsision. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.

Unions: Lockout!
Jim Comerford’s eyewitness account of the 15-month Lockout of 10,000 New South Wales miners in1929-1930 records the inside story of Australia’s most bloody and bitter industrial conflict

Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Professor Ron McCallum argues the WorkChoices laws are built on a fundamental fiction.

Politics: Labor Pains
Labor has dealt itself out of the crucial workplace relations debate by failing to articulate a credible policy alternative to Howard’s new WorkChoices legislation, argues Mark Heearn and Grant Michelson

Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Evan Jones pays tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith, a big man who never stopped arguing that economics should serve the public good, not create public squalor.

Corporate: House of Horrors
Anthony Keenan takes a tour of Sydney’s notorious, Asbestos House, courtesy of Gideon Haig.

History: Clash Of Cultures
Neale Towart with a new take on Mayday through the words of a punk icon

International: Childs Play
An ILO report into Child Labour shows some progress is being made to curb this gobal scurge .

Culture: Folk You Mate!
Phil Doyle dodges Morris Dancers to find signs of Working Life at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over the Easter Weekend.

Review: Last Holeproof Hero
Finally, a superhero who has worked out how to wear his underpants. Nathan Brown ogles V for Vendetta

N E W S

 Death Site Under Wraps

 Lets Get Physical, Building Bosses

 Retailers Spotlight Wage Cuts

 Sparkie Vote Will Go To the Wire

 More Front Than Meyer

 Nine Vanish in Melbourne Triangle

 Black is White, Andrews

 Kev Nicks from Kids

 Toothless Tiger Squeals

 High Standard Bugs Boss

 Labor Roots In Graft Allegations

 Security Posted

 ALP Urged to Front Up

 On the Road Again

 Activists What's On

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Albo's Meltdown
Labor's environment spokesman Antony Albanese argues that Chrernobyl is one reason why the ALP should stand firm on nuclear.

The Locker Room
A Sort Of Homecoming
Phil Doyle plays to the whistle.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West reports from Macquarie Street on some strange collective acction.

L E T T E R S
 Spotlight on WorkChoices
 Noll On
 Riders on the Strom
 No Gerry Can
 Insight Fires Up
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Lets Get Physical, Building Bosses


Shonky builders, bolstered by federal anti-union legislation, are going the biff in an effort to prevent safety audits.

In one instance, a builder turned a hose on a 64-year-old safety expert and tried to frog march him out the gate.

In another, a dodgy operator set a "human German Shepherd" on an authorised safety rep. CFMEU official Mal Tulloch was thrown across an office and had a chair thrown at him while he was on the ground.

They were two of three assaults on construction union officials, attempting to carry out safety audits on Sydney building sites in the last month.

The CFMEU and Unions NSW will meet with police in an effort to educate officers on the beat and stop the violence.

CFMEU state secretary, Andrew Ferguson, says the aggressive anti-union campaign mounted by Canberra has led to misunderstandings of the legal rights of authorised officials.

"Under state health and safety laws our officials have the right to carry out health and safety checks in the interests of members, and the public, when they have genuine concerns about standards," Ferguson said.

"In every one of these cases, our officials were proven right. When Workcover finally got on the sites, they issued prohibition or improvement notices."

Veteran safety expert, Dick Whitehead, 64, said he had never experienced anything like the reception he got from an IR manager at Mt Druitt, last week.

"I was talking to the project manager, showing him my right of entry permit, when the IR manager walked past and gave me a mouthful," he said.

"Next thing, he dials Triple 0 and tells the police he needs back up because people are invading his site. Then he picks the hose up, turns it on full bore and tries to hose me out the gate.

"I was angry but I knew what he was up to. He came over, forced my arm up my back and tried to march me out the gate.

"I know he wanted me to fight back because, for sure, I would have been arrested."

Whitehead, a former Workcover inspector, said when police arrived they took the IR manager's side, despite the legal rights of himself and a colleague.

It wasn't until a senior inspector arrived that CFMEU and WorkCover inspectors were escorted through the gate.

The state health and safety authority wrote out six notices identifying separate safety shortcomings that required attention.

Whitehead said didn't blame young police officers because they had never been educated about right of entry entitlements.

"We need police officers on the ground to understand the law," he said. "Construction is a dangerous industry and these right of entry provisions are about lives."

Tulloch told Workers Online he had been assaulted by a person he could best describe as a "human German Shepherd" when he had tried to investigate a Parramatta site that posed "obvious risks" to the passing public.


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