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  Issue No 95 Official Organ of LaborNet 11 May 2001  




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Big Australian’s Merger Faces Rocky Road

A united front of trade unions are recommending shareholder reject the proposed BHP-Biliton merger at a meeting of shareholders next week on the grounds the deal is not good for Australia.

Unions are working to gather sufficient support to block the merger, using their members own staff shareholding, as well as approaching institutional investors.

Workers with their savings in superannuation are also being asked to ask thweir industry funds to vote against the deal, which they say will see an Australian asset swallowed up by the South African company.

The unions are also running newspaper advertisements and are planning to hold a rally outside the Sydney meeting next Saturday. An international campaign of lobbying overseas investors in both companies will also occur over the next seven days.

Participating unions are the Australian Workers Union, the CFMEU Mining Division, the Communications, Electrical and plumbing Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Maritime Union of Australia and APESMA.

Bad for Australia

At a joint press conference this week, representatives of the unions said the only winners from the merger would be Biliton shareholders and BHP CEO Paul Anderson who stood to make $20 million personally if the sale goes through.

The AWU's Andrew Whilley said Australians had a direct interest in what happens to BHP, in terms of both jobs and the strength of the national economy.

CFMEU mining division's Tony Maher said the merger was a "dud deal" that was proceeding on the basis of "trust us". He said financial analysts were now questioning what had initially been hyped as a dream partnership.

And the MUA' Paddy Crumlin linked the campaign to the broader movement to hold corporations responsible to their communities.

"There has been a long line of investment by Australians to ensure that this company6 adds value to our community and our society," Crumlin said.

The unions called on both John Howard and Kim Beazley to publicly oppose the merger.

See our features section for a full rundown on the campaign

See the Tool Shed for a full rundown on Anderson


*    Visit the BHP campaign page

*   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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