|Issue No 92||20 April 2001|
Letters to the Editor
Dellas List: Rhiannon-V-McDonald
Dear Workers On Line,
It was informative to read (WOL Issue 91) that Ian McDonald, MLC, wants to be grouped in with the "good guys" who are opposing the Workers' Compensation Legislation. This stance suggests that Mr McDonald has some degree of criticism of the government's proposed legislation.
However, in parliament as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr John Della Bosca, Mr McDonald is a strong backer of the legislation. He has consistently lobbied The Greens MPs and other cross benchers to support the current legislation. In fact Mr McDonald has been working so hard to muster the numbers for this Bill that he has earned himself the title of defacto whip for the crossbenchers.
For the record the two Greens MPs in the Upper House, myself and Ian Cohen, will not support the legislation in its current form.
Ian Macdonald's response.
Dear Workers On Line
Lee Rhiannon and myself have had some severe differences within the NSW Parliament - specifically I raised the endeavours by her self and others to prevent her colleague - Ian Cohen - being able to stand for the Greens at the next election. I described her actions as being tantamount to those of "clapped out old Stalinist". This comment I do not resile from. And I think the record will show that my comments were absolutely accurate.
In relation to her allegations:
1. I lobbied the Cross - Bench to oppose the Liberal/Green initiative to establish a judicial inquiry into WorkCover. This inquiry was moved by Lee Rhiannon and seconded by Michael Gallacher. I did this with the support of all factions in the ALP. The Liberal/Green inquiry would have lead to an erroneous public attack on workers over the issues of fraud and alleged abuse of benefits. This would have undermined positive initiatives such as the seven - day deadline for acceptance of provisional liability for weekly benefits and medical costs.
2. I have never stated to Lee Rhiannon that "workers would be worse off if the Workers Compensation Bill was not passed." I am committed to ensuring that workers are better off under any new system.
3. I have never stated to her, or anyone else, that most Left Unions support "his position on the Workers Compensation Bill." This is a total lie and typical of her pronouncements on Labor Party Members. Quite the contrary, I believe that Left Unions' concerns need to be addressed. That is what I am currently endeavouring to achieve.
I am always completely open and available for Left Unions (who have given me their full support over the years) to assist them in getting their views across to the Government.
Yours in solidarity,
Ian Macdonald MLC.
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Politics: In Defence of Della’s List
The proposition that trade unions should ask members of the ALP for a commitment that they uphold Party policy should hardly be controversial.
Corporate: The Real Rorters
The unspoken sore of the WorkCover Scheme is non-compliance by employers. None more so that in the construction industry, as this CFMEU paper details.
Legal: In the Real World
Lawyer Ross Goodridge exposes the defficincies in the new medical assessment guidelines for workers compensation by looking at real case studies.
International: The Docklands and Global Labour
Ma Wei Pin and Jasper Goss recount how the struggle of a group of Indonesian hotel workers effected a lucrative Melbourne contract.
History: Sweatshops in America
Since the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, many generations of Americans have toiled in sweatshops.
Unions: Losers Never Start
At the end of her six week vigil, Grenadier delegate Michelle Booth gave her heartfelt thanks to the trade union movement.
Review: Working Classes: Global Realities
The Socialist Register 2001 looks at class realities and the lives of workers in the new century.
Satire: Democrats Change Leader
The Democrats have a new leader after belatedly discovering that Meg Lees had become the second Democrats leader in a row to defect to another party.
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