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  Issue No 47 Official Organ of LaborNet 24 March 2000  




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Another Rustbucket On Our Coast

By Zoe Reynolds

Waterside workers in Burnie stopped work on the Cypriot flag of convenience Nicolas Star this week after uncovering rusted lashing chains and weevil infested food.

MUA Tasmania branch secretary and local representative for the International Transport Workers' Federation Mike Wickham said the vessel was the worst he'd ever seen

"It should never be allowed to sail," he said. "The conditions the crew survived in are not fit for a dog. The galley is a filthy disgrace, it's a pig sty. The Filipino crew have been eating stores that are full of weevils, the rice is literally infested with it."

Burnie wharfies were loading logs bound for Korea onto the ship on Wednesday when the alarm was raised and the men walked off the job.

Mike Wickham called the Australian Maritime Safety Authority inspector in and the ship was inspected and repairs ordered.

The ITF is also representing the Filipino crew in a pay dispute. The crew have now won US$9,5000 in outstanding wages.

Mike Wickham accused the Federal Government of creating "an environment of piracy on the high seas" by promoting cheap, substandard, flag of convenience shipping at the expense of Australian shipping.

"Under this Government the policy has been to welcome this type of ship in every day," Mike Wickham told the local press. "This is the first of many in an environment of piracy on the high seas that this Government has created."

The Australian trading fleet is being driven out of business as the Howard Government sides with shippers and exporters in driving down freight rates by allowing third rate vessels, crewed by third world nationals, to carry Australian cargo -- even our domestic coastal cargo.

The policy is expected to impact on the nation's inland transport system in the long term. Substandard shipping is also responsible for the majority of the world's maritime disasters, oil spills and pollution.

Meanwhile the Nicolas Star is expected to be held in port all next week. MUA - Tasmanian


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*   Issue 47 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Telstra Troubleshooter
Andrew Hillard first blew the whistle on Mal Colston�s expenses rorts; now he�s taking on Telstra over its tactics to drive down wages and conditions.
*  Unions: A Christmas (Recruitment) Story
Staff at the Illawarra Mutual Building Society organised their own Christmas present - and, with the help of a little e-mail, delivered 80 new members to the ASU's Clerical and Administrative Branch.
*  International: A Move to the Left?
John Passant look�s at �Red Ken� Livingstone�s tilt at Mayor of London and what it means for the Radical Left.
*  Legal: Going Broke: What Workers Should Do
A no nonsense guide to protecting your entitlements when the boss goes bust.
*  Politics: "I Can't Believe It's Not Peter Reith":
The NSW Labor Government is waging a dirty campaign against the NSW Teachers Federation in order to gain the upper hand in the long running award dispute.
*  History: One Big Nation
In the 1920�s rural Australia was arguing for its share of the national wealth through The Bush Workers Propaganda Group.
*  Satire: Toddler Death Fallout: BMW Releases New Oven
The Victorian Government has turned up the heat on the gambling and car industries following a spate of children being locked inside cars.
*  Review: The Stranger from Hobart
In his controversial new book, Peter Botsman lifts the lid on the unsung hero of federation, Andrew Inglis Clark

»  Insurance Deal Guarantees Entitlements
»  Casual Work Inquiry Moves Closer
»  Questions Over National Push for 36 Hours Week
»  WA Govt Pulls Plug on Unionists
»  A Fair Day�s Surf
»  Hotel Workers Jam AIRC
»  PM's Security Guards Walk off the Job
»  SOCOG Dances: Budget Not There
»  Women Win Right To Wear Trousers
»  Another Rustbucket On Our Coast
»  Catholic School Teachers Endorse Strike Action
»  We Can't Share the Spirit If We Can�t Afford the Rent
»  Unionist Honoured Posthumously
»  Radio Free East Timor

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Carr's Parisian Lunchmate
»  Send Us a Letter

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