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March 2005   

Interview: Dot.Com
Evan Thornley was a labour activist. Then he rode the tech wave. Now he's home with new ideas on how Labor can win the economic debate.

Workplace: Dirt Cheap
In her new book, Elizabeth Wynhausen learns how hard it is to live on the minimum wage.

Industrial: Daddy Doesnít Live With Us Anymore
Andreia Viegasí tells the story of the loss her young family has felt since her husband was killed at work, and the need for justice for families who fall victim to industrial manslaughter.

Economics: Who's Afraid of the BCA?
Big Business's agenda for Australia has gone from loopy to mainstream at the speed of light, writes Neale Towart

International: From the Wreckage
Working people across Iraq are struggling to build their own independent unions Ė and are successfully organising industrial action on the vital oil fields as well as in hotels, transport outlets and factories, Writes Andrew Casey

Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones

History: Meat and Three Veg
A new book recounts the impact of the Depression on women workers, writes Neale Towart,

Savings: Super Seduction
Sharks are circling your super. From July 1, banks and financial planners will have access to the nesteggs of an extra four million workers, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: Popping the 'E-Word'
Federal shadow treasurer Wayne Swan unveils Labor's new economic doctrine.

Poetry: To Know Somebody
This week saw an appointment to the ABC Board that was even more breathtaking than that of Liberal Party figure Michael Kroger. Resident Bard David Peetz celebrates the occasion with a reworking of an old Bee Gees hit.

Review: Off the Rails
A new play on the impact of rail privatisation in Britain has a poignant message for Sydney commuters, writes Alex Mitchell


The Soapbox
The Big Picture
Think about this: It takes 150 tonnes of iron ore to buy a plasma TV, writes Doug Cameron.

The Locker Room
Reducto Ad Absurdo
Phil Doyle offers advice for the lovelorn, and finds that things are getting smaller

New Matilda
Work is In
The rise and fall of the working hours debate in france is relevent to Australian workers, writes Daniel Donahoo and Tim Martyn

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP surveys the upcoming conservative centralist collective attack.

Postcard from Harvard
Australian union officials making the annual pilgrimage to the Harvard Trade Union Program learnt that, at least, they are not alone, says Natalie Bradbury.


Thatís Our Team
Hereís a test. Hands up all those who watched the news last night. Who can remember the weather forecast for tomorrow? What about the forecast in Perth?


 Rev Kev: Innocent Shall Be Guilty

 Itís Official - Taskforce "Hopeless"

 Hollywood For Tropfest Evictees

 Miner Problem for Feds

 Students Driven to Sleep

 Brogden Dances On Graves

 Let Them Drink Beer

 Traffic Fines Parked

 The Airline That Flew a Kite

 Hundreds Resist Porridge

 Experts Back Better Childcare Pay

 Mushroom Mums Win

 Rotten Fruit Exposed

 Workers Sue Rumsfeld

 Activistís Whatís On

 Stay Terra Firma on Tax
 Janetís Job No Victory
 Royal Finger Lickers
 Will $20 Restore Carr?
 Two Ideas
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Daddy Doesnít Live With Us Anymore

Andreia Viegasí tells the story of the loss her young family has felt since her husband was killed at work, and the need for justice for families who fall victim to industrial manslaughter.


My name is Andreia and I have two beautiful children, Corey is 6 and Makayla is 13 months.

Glen Viegas is Corey and Makayla's daddy but he doesn't live with us anymore. He hasn't for about 4 months. We miss him a lot.

Glen has missed out on seeing Makayla crawl for the first time, he missed out on her first Christmas, her first birthday and he even missed out on Corey's first soccer game.

We know he didn't mean to miss out on all these special events. We know he would have loved to have been at all of them.

Glen was a great dad, a great husband, son, brother and friend, he was full of life and energy and his family was his treasure.

Glen lives far away from us now, we don't see him anymore. We miss his voice, his touch, his jokes, we miss his funny smell when he came home from work and we miss his face.

Corey knows why Glen hasn't come home for so long. I told him daddy was never coming home again, that made him cry.

"I know why daddy isn't coming home," he said. "Daddy died.

"He died at work because it wasn't safe," he said.

That's right. Corey's dad cut through a live wire and was killed; a wire that was meant to have been disconnected at the power board.

Glen's workplace was accused of breaching safety regulations and letting a worker work in an unsafe workplace. Employers need to start ensuring safer working environments for all their workers. Glen's death was tragic and should have never of happened. Every week there is a death in the workplace and this year alone 6 workers have already been killed.


Glen's death comes under the term Industrial Manslaughter, a term used for death in the workplace.

Why is our Government not being tougher with employers? Why is the Government not enforcing tougher laws for employers that let a worker die in their workplace? This is unacceptable. If an employer is found to be at fault because they caused the death of their worker then they should be found guilty and jailed just like a criminal that murders an innocent person.

This is called justice.

How many more daddy's are going to be murdered at work, how many more families are going to be destroyed? A pathetic fine is like a soft smack on the hand. This does not get the point across to employers. It's a means to say, it's OK just be more careful next time.

Occupational Health and Safety legislation does not get the attention it deserves and someone needs to let the Howard Government in on the secret. Union officials need to visit and inspect work sites, they need to address safety breaches and they need to continue to provide safe workplaces.

Every Australian worker deserves to work in a safe work place and we need to introduce tougher laws for employers and we need to do this now.

I don't want Glen to just be a statistic. I want his death to be a wake up call to all employers, employees, the Government and to the whole of Australia. The Government needs to spend serious money on implementing tougher laws. A profit is more important then a life these days.

My greatest appreciation now goes out to the CFMEU Officials and Unions NSW for their campaign for tougher laws, something I am behind 100%, and for their overwhelming support not only to my family but to all the families that have found themselves in this unfortunate circle.

Thank you.


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