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  Issue No 120 Official Organ of LaborNet 23 November 2001  

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Letters to the Editor

Ancient OHS - The Wergild Sysstem


In light of what might be ahead for injured workers I was amazed to read recently about the wergild system of compensation for injured workers in ancient times and I quote: "under the wiergild system, every Anglo-Saxon, in common with other Germanic and Scandinavian peoples, knew the exact value of his life, and that depended on his rank.

The life of a churl was worth two hundred shillings; that of a thane ... six times as much, and the price to be paid for injury, like the loss of a hand or a leg, was calculated in proportion."

Have we come full circle with the way negotiations are happening now? One can only wonder.

The book is a work of historical fiction titled "Sarum" by Edward Rutherfurd and published by Arrow Books and I believe much of what is said is factual although I have not been able to validate that the wiergild system did exist. But ....

Keep up the excellent publication.

Noelene


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*   Issue 120 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Civilising Capital
Peter Butler is a global investor with a difference. He believes that environment, shareholder democracy and workers rights make good business sense.
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*  Industrial: All In The Family
In his opening submission to the landmark case, ACTU assistant secretary Richard Marles argues working hours are vital to life.
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*  Unions: Saving Cinderella
It is a modern day fairy tale - a Cinderella from the suburbs, worked like a slave from morning to night injured and then abandoned.
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*  International: Recognising China
Gough Whitlam draws the links, past and present, between recognition of China and the continuing struggle to achieve a genuinely inclusive Australian democracy.
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*  History: The Speakers Square
A new book lifts the lid on Melbourne's radical past - including the soapboxes that dotted the city in the 1890s.
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*  Economics: Back to the Pack
The big story in this year’s State of the States League Table is the end of the long reign of New South Wales at the top of the heap.
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*  Satire: Man Reneges On Promise To Leave The Country If Howard Re-Elected
A Sydney man has decided he won’t leave Australia despite the re-election of the Howard Government.
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*  Review: When Hippes Meet Unionists
A new book investigates how links between politics and culture reached a high point in the 1970s
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News
»  Calls for ALP Fundraising Code
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»  Mad Monk Keeps IR
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»  Ignored Warnings Bring Tragic Results
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»  ACTU Executive To Mark Union Bounce Back
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»  Workers Will Lose from Unfair Contract Changes
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»  Tassie On Top, While NSW And WA Slip
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»  Costa Gets First Union Call
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»  Hamberger in Hot Water
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»  Egan to Pay for Welfare Win
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»  Sweet Victory for Sugar Workers
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»  Selectron Demise Spells Death of Tech Inustry
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»  Telco Industry Growth Hits The Wall
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»  Shocking Conditions in Clothing Industry
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»  Workers Force Council Backdown
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»  New Dili Project Launched
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»  Airport Guards Welcome Work Study Case
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»  No News is Bad News for the Bush
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»  Getonboard Closes Doors
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»  Activists Notebook
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»  Organiser of the Year Nominations Open
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Soapbox
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  The Cost a Costa
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»  Unionism and the ALP - a Workers View.
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»  Is 60-40 Good Odds?
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»  Ancient OHS - The Wergild Sysstem
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