Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 91 Official Organ of LaborNet 06 April 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Interview: Costa on Compo
Labor Council’s secretary gives his take on the Big Stink over Della’s workers compensation package.
*  Politics: Della's List
All Labor members of Parliament were this week asked to indicate whether they would support injured workers. More than half said 'yes'. Here they are.
*  Unions: Picketing Joy
Rowan Cahill chronicled the definitive dispute of 2000 for Workers Online. He looks back on the battle and the lessons to be drawn from the workers at Joy.
*  History: Vale Tony Mulvihill
The environment, migrant workers and the hairy nosed wombat have reason to be thankful for the active citizenship of Tony Mulvihill.
*  Economics: Stopping the Rot
A national campaign is underway to persuade politicians from both the major parties that they need to be addressing the issue of poverty within Australia.
*  International: East Timor – Beyond the Headlines
It’s now more than 18 months since the violence and bloodshed following the popular consultation on the future of East Timor was front page news in Australia.
*  Technology: Online Breathing Space
The global collapse of faith in new technology has given journalists a chance to prepare themselves for the real revolution, writes David Higgins
*  Satire: Howard Cuts Beer Price to Get Voters Drunk
Prime Minister John Howard has agreed to cut the excise on beer, in the hope cheaper drinks will help get the country drunk enough to vote for him.
*  Review: The Battle for 96.9Fm is Over
What would you get if you crossed 2DAY FM, 2MMM, JJJ and MIX 106.5 FM? A fairly commercial radio station that wouldn’t know the difference between throwing up, stuffing up, growing up or breaking up.

Happy Easter FSU Style!

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Wobbly Radio


Compo Wars: Week Two to the Workers!
NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca was tonight under growing pressure to withdraw his workers compensation reform package after the ALP’s governing body rejected cuts to workers benefits.
[ Full Story » ]

Doctors Don’t Want to be Judges
Medical practitioners have sent the Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca a strong message that they do not want to be judge and jury for injured workers.
[ Full Story » ]

Cops Eye Ball Compo Changes
Police who risk their lives upholding the law, deserve that same law’s protection when they are injured at work, the head of NSW police officers has warned the Carr Government.
[ Full Story » ]

Armoured Car Drivers To Consider Stop Work
Earlier this week over 200 TWU members and activists held a "Sit In" at WorkCover's Head Office in Kent Street.
[ Full Story » ]

IT Workers – We Need You!
Labor Council is embarking on a major initiative to build a web space for IT workers – and we want workers in the industry to let us know what they want.
[ Full Story » ]

Banks Workers Show They’re No Bunnies
The Finance Sector Union is using Easter as the launching-pad for a campaign for fair pay and achievable workloads.
[ Full Story » ]

English Teachers Ripped Off
Teachers are out of work and are owed over $35,000 following the collapse of a private English language college for overseas students yesterday.
[ Full Story » ]

Beazley Gives Boost To Bakery Workers
Federal Labor Leader Kim Beazley pledged his support in the Newcastle Buttercup battle when he attended the Newcastle Knights home game last weekend.
[ Full Story » ]

Employment, Environment Vital to US-Australia Trade Deal
Union leaders from Australia and the United States today called for any Free Trade Agreement between the two countries to include guarantees on employment and environment standards.
[ Full Story » ]

Extra $1.37 Billion Needed for Unis
The Community and Public Sector Union is urging the Federal Government to restore $1.37 billion in funding to Australian universities.
[ Full Story » ]

Campaigning Workshop Establishes Local Campaign Initiative
A rural campaigning workshop conducted in Orange this week by Labor Council resulted in a commitment from local delegates and organisers to develop a weeklong union campaign in the bush.
[ Full Story » ]

Activist Notebook
If winning the war for workers comp is not enough to keep you busy, we have a labour history conference and a lecture on IR.
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Organising - Dools Causes a Storm

  • Dools Replies

  • Singalong with Della!

  • Compo Forum - A Lib Responds

  • Like a Lamb to the Slaughter

  • Editorial

    Della’s Dilemma

    So how has it come to this? How has the man hailed as the greatest strategist in the ALP come to be portrayed as the butcher of workers comp?

    On one level John Della Bosca has himself to blame. He alone decided to introduce this fundamental piece of legislation into the Parliament without prior consultation with his core constituency.

    But while Della is the author of his current troubles, he is clearly not the architect. Della did not personally devise this package - indeed, he probably believed the advice he was given that it would benefit injured workers.

    The source of the current legislation emanates far closer to the Premier and his Cabinet Office that has regarded WorkCover as a running sore since the time he came to office.

    Della's predecessor Jeff Shaw was forced to fight hard on several occasions to stop a package similar to this going through. It is no coincidence that the man regarded as probably the best ever Carr government minister refused to buckle under extreme bureaucratic pressure.

    Instead Shaw worked with the trade union movement and employers and doctors and lawyers to reform the scheme incrementally, sponsoring three separate waves of change that cut most of the fat out of the system. It was sound public policy and it worked - on all indicators the scheme was improving and the 50-year deficit was reducing, assets were growing, the scheme had stablised.

    But when Shaw resigned, almost 12 months ago now, the Advisory Council was sidelined and the deputy head of Cabinet Office, Kate McKenzie installed to devise the ultimate End Game - a shift from a workers comp scheme grounded in the justice system to a mere administrative process.

    That is what the fight is about, and no amount of rubbery figures and trite case studies prepared in government offices will convince working people otherwise.

    With Easter approaching, the Della camp has an opportunity to regroup, rethink its strategy and maybe show the resolve in the face of the Cabinet Office that his predecessor did.

    We too will make use of the Easter break and will not be publishing next week. In the meantime keep tabs on the Compo Stink through our special, hastily built site on LaborNet.

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    Compo Campaign Page Newtown Footy Back from the Dead Neale Towart's Labour Review Della: Faster, Simpler Slicker?



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