||Issue No. 334||24 November 2006|
It’s Who The Economy Works For, Stupid
Interview: Common Ground
Industrial: A Low Act
Unions: The Number of the Least
Politics: The Smoking Gun
Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
Environment: Low Voltage
History: The Art of Social Justice
Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
Culture: A Forgotten Poet
Hardies Finally Coughs Up
Hardie and the NSW Government this week signed a tax office approved, Amended Final Funding Agreement which will see the first payments to the asbestos compensation fund as soon as next February.
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet has welcomed the final deal, which will see the company pay in excess of $4.5 billion into a fund to compensate current and future Australian victims of its asbestos products.
"The only thing left to do now before James Hardie commences paying money into the fund is for the agreement to be voted on by James Hardie shareholders which we understand will occur in February next year," Combet says.
"This has been a long and at times difficult campaign but today I am more confident then ever that we will achieve our objective of getting some justice for asbestos victims, said Mr. Combet.
Following its approval by James Hardie shareholders, the Amended Final Funding Agreement would see James Hardie make an initial payment of around $185 million into the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund with further regular payments to be made over the minimum 40 year life of the agreement.
"This agreement balances the need to provide justice and proper compensation for the Australian victims of James Hardie Asbestos products with the need to ensure the company can continue as a commercially successful business.
"I am very proud of the role that Australian unions have played in securing this agreement," Combet says.
Asbestos Halts Bunny Warren
Meanwhile, work on the South Syd Rabbitohs' new home at Redfern Oval was halted when more than 100 tonnes of asbestos-contaminated soil was found during excavation.
More than 40 pieces of asbestos, some more than eight inches in size, were found.
CFMEU NSW C&G divn asst sec Brian Parker says one piece of asbestos had been found before demolition work started. The contractor had no asbestos-related safe working procedures in place, Parker said.
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