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  Issue No 95 Official Organ of LaborNet 11 May 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

Tool Shed

The $17 Million Man

There's only one person in Australia who'll be a winner from the BHP-Billiton merger and he'll be shooting the country as soon as he does. Paul Anderson, step into the Tool Shed.

The American CEO of the once Big Australian will pocket an estimated $17 million if the merger deal goes ahead. So while most institutional investors, sensible financial analysts and all workers are alarmed at the prospect of an Australian icon being swallowed by a South African company listed on the London stock exchange, the man in the drivers' seat thinks it's makes perfect sense. Sorry, that should be cents.

Anderson took BHP over three years ago and quickly transformed it from a corporate leader of the Australian economy, to another sleazy multinational chasing a bigger slice of the global action. Over the past three years we have witnessed nothing short of the Bastardisation of BHP. Anderson has overseen the closure of the Newcastle steel works, moved to push Iron Ore workers at Pilbara onto individual contracts, launched an aggressive assault on Queensland and Illawarra coal-miners, including canceling of enterprise agreements and increased the use of foreign-flagged ships of convenience to ship his steel offshore..

In doing so, he's joined other international pariahs like Rio Tino of imposing a purist HR agenda of divide and conquer. This week's united actions by unionized labour to oppose the Biliton merger shows at this, at least, he has not succeeded.

Questions over the Biliton deal are many: from why a strong Australian company needs to be playing "a testosterone" game of global domination, to the future of BHP's petroleum interests on the North-West Shelf to the growing suspicion that BHP is being swallowed by the Yaapies, rather than the reverse - as Anderson has been attempting to spin.

Perhaps the most intriguing question relates to Anderson's own personal stake in the merger. Based on publicly available information we know that the Billiton deal will deliver Anderson $3.2 million golden handshake to leave the job a year before his five year contract expires. It has been estimated the deal will also improve his personal share options package by $7-8 million. Add his $7 million per annum salary and Anderson has 17 million reasons to see the deal through.

In his time in Australia, Anderson has pursued the Americanisation of the BHP corporate philosophy to the detriments of communities all over the nation. Now he's skipping town with maximum benefit, leaving nothing but the memory of another snake-oil salesmen. That and the salutary lesson that when you globalise your management, the rest will surely follow.

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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 95 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Geek Guys
Two of the union movement�s pioneers in new technology, Peter Ross and Mark McGrath, chew the fat about wired unionism and virtual politics.
*  Compo: Costa�s Angels
Behind the spotlight of the workers comp campaign four women trade union officials have been burning the midnight oil to protect injured workers.
*  Legal: View from the Bench
Compensation Court judge and former Attorney-General, Frank Walker, argues the Della Bosca workers comp reforms are a threat to judicial independence.
*  International: Timor: Time for the Truth
HT Lee was in Dili when the militas ran rampage. Now he wants the truth to come out.
*  History: True Believers
Frank Bongiorno looks at the origins of the Australian Labor Party, which celebrated its centenary of Caucus this week.
*  Corporate: Trust Me, I�m a Multi-National!
BHP unions have united across the factions to urge �No� vote on the planned Billiton merger.
*  Unions: AWAs � A Doomed Future?
ACTU Assistant Secretary Richard Marles plays clairvoyant and predicts a dismal future for AWAs.
*  Satire: Bush Defends One China Policy - Then Another China Policy, Then Another ....
President Bush today announced a major change to the United States� policy of �strategic ambiguity� towards the status of Taiwan and its One China policy.
*  Review: Surviving Survivor
Workers Online's Reality TV correspondent Mark Morey rakes over the coals of the Survivor II result.

»  Carr Government Avoids Own Safety Laws
»  Phantom Employers Face the Flush
»  Primus Suspect? Unions Seek Answers
»  Big Australian�s Merger Faces Rocky Road
»  Happy Hour for Heineken with a Half-Price Dollar
»  Arnotts Workers Call for Consumer Boycott
»  Asian Women at Work: Daring To Act
»  Academic Sacking Sparks Global Row
»  Labor Councillors Feel Childcare Heat
»  Rail Workers Win Maintenance Security
»  Knitwear Company Stitched Up Over AWAs
»  Three Stripes and You�re Out
»  Unions and Students Move on Harvard
»  IT Workers Alliance � Last Call for Comment
»  Our News Feed Hits 1000
»  Activist Notebook

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

Letters to the editor
»  The Great May Day Debate
»  Questions for Macca
»  Qantas on Impulse
»  Compo: The Great Tradition

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