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Workers Online
  Issue No 93 Official Organ of LaborNet 27 April 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

*  Corporate: The Jobs Myth
Access Economics' Chris Richardson debunks employer claims that increased workers compensation premiums have a dramatic impact on jobs.
*  Interview: The Workers� Voice
When trade union stalwart Ian West took a seat in the NSW Upper House he was determined to be more than a bench-warmer. Then the Workers Comp legislation hit.
*  Unions: Postcard from the Pilbara
In the face of unprecedented pressure, BHP workers in the Pilbara are standing together and refusing to sign individual cotnracts.
*  Economics: Currency Unification: Dollarize or Die?
Dick Bryan asks what happens to an economy when it gives up its domestic currency.
*  History: Instant History
In his address to the Australian Labour History Conference, the SMH's Brad Norington asks whether there is still time for history.
*  International: The End of an Era?
The post-Cold War era is over. Something different is developing to take its place. John Passant writes.
*  Media: The Battle for Aunty
The CPSU's Graeme Thompson ouitlines the campaign to save the ABC and this week's emergency share-holders' meeting.
*  Review: Share-Holder Nation
A legacy of government-backed privatisations, demutualisations and stockmarket hype over the past decade is the creation of a nation of shareholders.
*  Satire: SOS: Save the Investment Banker!
Spare a thought for those less fortunate With redundancies at investment banks around the globe looming, now is the time for us to show the world just how much we care. It's just not right.

It's the Injured Workers: Stupid

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Wobbly Radio


Message to Della

Budget Day Looms as Compo D-Day
Workers across the state have been placed on alert to make May 29, the day the Carr Government is due to hand down its Budget, a general day of action if substantial changes are not made to workers compensation proposals.
[ Full Story » ]

Give It a Shake, Lads!
The banner drop from the Harbour Bridge was the product of a clandestine operation by riggers on Sydney's greatest landmark.
[ Full Story » ]

World Spotlight on Asbestos Usage
The Howard Government�s failure to ban the production and importation of asbestos products was the focus of International Day of Mourning activity in Melbourne.
[ Full Story » ]

Compo Talks Begin in Earnest Monday
Trade union representatives will next week begin discussions with the Carr Government in a bid to devise an acceptable package of workers comensation amendments.
[ Full Story » ]

Action Rolls On as Della�s List Fills Up
Unions are planning another week of rolling industrial action in protest at workers comp changes as just three Labor back-benchers hold-out from pledging to support changes to the Della Bosca package.
[ Full Story » ]

Government Ignites Industrial Blaze
The Carr Government has taken legal action to force fire-fighters to call off their bans on risking lives to save commercial property.
[ Full Story » ]

Robbo Elected Unopposed
John Roberston will be the next secretary of the NSW Labor Council after he was last night elected to succeed Michael Costa unopposed.
[ Full Story » ]

Women Casuals Victimised by Abbott
Hundreds of thousands of women workers could be denied access to maternity leave after the Howard Government opposed an historic test case on casual employment.
[ Full Story » ]

Scientists Oppose Quantum Leap
The CSIRO Staff Association has condemned the damage being wrought on the ABC by Jonathon Shier's management in axing the Qantum program.
[ Full Story » ]

Victimised Mineworkers Confront Rio Tinto Board
Mineworkers victimised by Rio Tinto in Central Queensland and the NSW Hunter Valley, joined hundreds of environmental, indigenous and human rights activists in a lively protest outside Rio Tinto�s AGM in Sydney this morning.
[ Full Story » ]

Queenslanders Call for End to Employer Theft
The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) has called on employers to stop stealing overtime entitlements from employees.
[ Full Story » ]

Inflation Destroys Howard�s Living Wage Ploy
Confirmation that Australia has suffered the highest annual inflation for more than a decade makes a mockery of the Federal Government�s opposition to a wage rise for the country�s lowest paid workers, the ACTU said this week.
[ Full Story » ]

Commitment to Schizophrenia Research
Health Minister Craig Knowles this week committed $1 million per annum to research into shcizophrenia following a trade union campaign to raise awareness about the issue.
[ Full Story » ]

Activists Notebook: Workers of the World Unite
For over a century workers around the world have gathered together on May Day (1st May) to celebrate working people�s lives and their ongoing campaign for justice.
[ Full Story » ]

ANZAC Special : Hundred Not Out
Charlie Mance is 100 years old. A World War One veteran, Charlie has become a familiar face on TV screens in recent years, and has been awarded France�s highest medal, the Legion Of Honour. Not so well known is that after WW1 Charlie spent most of his working life as a bricklayer
[ Full Story » ]

Letters to the Editor
  • Compo Shame

  • Where the Greens Stand

  • Editorial

    A Prayer for the Departed

    Today's ceremony to mark the International Day of Mourning for Deaths in the Workplace puts the current workers compensation dispute into sobering context.

    In an issue as politically charged as workers comp, there is a tendency for the issue to be portrayed in media as a dust-up between the two wings of the labour movement.

    Some, such as Australian Business Limited, have also attempted to make workers compensation purely an economic issue - with the cost to business at the core of the debate.

    But throughout this dispute, we have sought to keep our members, injured workers and those who will be injured or killed at some point in their working lives, in the spotlight of our public campaign.

    The statistics tell the story: 440 workers killed in Australian workplaces every year; another 2,300 deaths from slow-onset occupational illnesses. Tens of thousands more lives ruined every year from preventable workplace accidents.

    It is these lives that must be the primary focus of any reform to workers compensation: the prevention of workplace injuries, the rehabilitation of injured workers, their return to work.

    But a look at the Della Bosca package, finds nothing on these issue - merely an attempt to strip away legal protections and replace them with a bureaucratic system which may well cut costs, but will not cut suffering.

    The growing groundswell against this package, is an indication that working people are tiring of being seen as statistics, mere cogs in the economy.

    They are demanding to be treated as members of a society - a society that is only as strong as its treatment of its weakest members.

    On a day when we remember fallen colleagues, this is the message that must drive next week's workers compensation negotiations. To adapt an adage, it's the injured workers, stupid

    Peter Lewis


    Soapbox Lockerroom From Trades Hall Toolshed
    Soapbox lockerroom trades hall Toolshed
    John Passant on the Socialist Alliance Trackside with Jim Maher Neale Towart's Labour Review The Dirty Three



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