Chase ‘put road users in danger’
September 9, 2009
A 45-MINUTE car chase across Melbourne during the heated West Gate industrial dispute would have left those being pursued feeling fearful for their safety, having clearly placed them and other road users in danger, a magistrate said yesterday… The case took on political significance after Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard used it in June in a controversial speech to the ACTU congress to justify keeping laws that treat building workers differently…
There is both debate and difference on display as the Rudd Government honours its election commitment to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission and replace it on 1 February 2010 with a new specialist Fair Work body.
But as there is debate and difference, I expect there to be one clear point of unanimity.
Like me, I am sure you were appalled to read of dangerous car chases across Melbourne City involving carloads of balaclava wearing people, criminal damage to vehicles resulting in arrests, threats of physical violence and intimidation of individuals, including damage to a private residence.
The last time I read of balaclavas in an industrial dispute they were being worn by security thugs at the Melbourne waterfront when the MUA fought its history making battle against Patricks and the Liberal Party.
Balaclavas, violence and intimidation must be unreservedly condemned as wrong by every unionist, every ALP member, every decent Australian.
And the Rudd Labor Government will do everything necessary to ensure that we do not see this appalling conduct again.
This is another part of our commitment to fairness and decency at work.
~ Julia Gillard, ‘Address to ACTU Congress’, June 3, 2009, Brisbane [PDF]
No guarantees over workplace reforms: Rudd
The Age [AAP]
September 4, 2009
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has backed away from a pledge that no worker would be left worse off by award modernisation, saying that remained the government’s objective but was never a guarantee…
James Hardie, the name, like the company, is a lie. The real James Hardie died a long time ago and had almost no connection to the Australian asbestos empire that grew under his partner Andrew Reid. The Reid family amassed a huge fortune as its asbestos company expanded, killing in its wake thousands of unwitting workers and customers.
Today, Reid′s grandson John Reid is an honoured multi-millionaire, revered for his patronage and philanthropy. He chaired the company for 23 years, and oversaw a strategy that ignored the dangers of asbestos and silenced Australia′s largest asbestos union and government health authorities, concealing Australia′s largest peacetime disaster. Reid mentored his eventual successor, Meredith Hellicar, who defended Hardie′s move offshore until public campaigning by asbestos disease sufferers like Bernie Banton forced the company to adequately provide for its victims.
The councilor comes with his battered old suit
And his head all filled with plans
Says “It’s not for myself, for the fame or wealth
But to help my fellow man”
Fist in the air and the first to stand
When the Internationale plays
Says “We’ll break down the walls of the old Town Hall
And we’ll fight all the lifelong day!”
Ten years later where is he now?
He’s ditched all the old ideas
Milked all the life from the old cash cow
Now he’s got a fine career
Now he’s got a fine career