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Issue No. 332 10 November 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Affairs of State
For those of us on the left of politics it’s been a week where there is more joy in thinking global rather than focussing on the local.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Common Ground
Nature Conservation Council director Cate Faehrmann on the fight against global warming and how unions and greens can learn from each other.

Industrial: A Low Act
The Low Paid. The Fair Pay Commission knows who pays them. We can do something about it as they will not.

Unions: The Number of the Least
Forget 666 - 457 is looming as the scariest number for Aussie workers and their families, Jim Marr writes.

Politics: The Smoking Gun
Hayek's henchman, Raplph Harris, goes to free market heaven, writes Evan Jones

Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
They are supposed to ensure the wealth of well-being of individuals. Whats wrong with that? asks Neale Towart

Environment: Low Voltage
Nuclear Power and Prime Ministerial pronouncements are seriously short of a few volts, wrties Neal Towart

History: The Art of Social Justice
Tom Martin was a terrific cartoonist and part of a great tradition in labour movement history and culture, swrties Neale Towart.

Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
It pays the bills – usually – but going to work should come with a warning, wrties Jackie Woods.

Culture: A Forgotten Poet
There is little information on the public record about the radical working class poet Ernest Antony, writes Rowan Cahill.

N E W S

 Abrasive Giant Pinged on Sackings

 Offshoring Good for CV: Qantas

 Records of Convenience

 Construction Lives Going Cheap

 Suncorp in Dee Why Denial

 States Fall to Unions

 Bisshop Looking for Converts

 Guestworkers Off the Menu

 AAPT Hangs Up on Country Jobs

 Super Funds Fight Telstra Perks

 Taxing Times for Compo Cheat

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Robbo Goes Green
John Robertson's speech to the Walk Against Warming

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at a former public institution and its contribution to NSW.

L E T T E R S
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News

Records of Convenience


Flag of Convenience ships, invited onto the coast by the Howard Government, claim to pay seafarers more than three times what they are actually getting.

The rip-off was exposed in Newcastle, last weekend, when ITF inspectors busted the Maltese flagged coal carrier, Caravos Horizon, for fraudulent book keeping.

One set of accounts, for authorities, purported to pay a Filipino seaman $US1059 a month, under the terms of an international agreement.

But ITF digging unearthed a second set of figures that revealed the man was actually receiving $US342 a month.

"It is fraud, pure and simple," ITF Australian co-ordinator, Dean Summers, said. "It is a systematic method of defrauding seafarers of their rightful income.

"It raises a other concerns about the way these people operate.

"If they lie about wages, what else are they lying about?"

Summers said the true records, taken from the ship, revealed some seafarers had been on board for 22 months without a day off.

The Caravos Horizon arrived in Newcastle with a predominantly Filipino crew of 23.

"If you have a crew that has been on a vessel for 22 months straight, and you're paying less than half the minimum rates, there has to be room for evildoers to encourage these guys to smuggle or do things they wouldn't normally do," Summers said.

"The same sort of ships carry ammonium nitrate around our coast on federal government permits.

"The flag of convenience system can be a security risk and regulations need to be tightened up."

Loose Monkey for High Jump

Meanwhile, authorities passed a death sentence on a loose monkey aboard another Australia-bound vessel.

Lloyd's List reported the creature had gone AWOL on the high sea, somewhere between China and Australia.

It quoted an Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service spokesman as saying the monkey must die.

Believed to be a Macaque, a species known to carry rabies and encephalitis, the stowaway had gone to ground, evading two full crew searches.

The AQIS officer said if his organisation couldn't be convinced of the ape's demise, the un-named vessel would be restricted to an off-shore buoy, while AQIS carried out a search and destroy mission.

Summers said no monkeys were members of maritime unions, anywhere in the world.

"Even so," he said, "if it had been on the Caravos Trader, I'm sure the captain would have been able to produce a signed copy of its wage documents."


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