Shame, James Hardie, shame!

Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2004 02:06 am
australia wrote:
Ooops i just heard the 7 o clock news and it is a record compensation claim. So you would be happy not unhappy.

YES! Very Happy
But they'd better not try to weasel their way out of it through legal loopholes! Evil or Very Mad
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2004 02:09 am
Hmmmmmmm - in a long term view, it probably is.
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2004 02:09 am
Asbestos victims welcome agreement
December 21, 2004 - 12:50PM/the AGE

Asbestos disease victims are celebrating today after the signing of a compensation agreement with James Hardie Industries.

Jane Staley, spokeswoman for the Asbestos Diseases Society of Victoria, said the heads of agreement was a wonderful Christmas present for victims.

"We've hoped and prayed for this day, and it's hard to believe it's finally arrived," Ms Staley said.

"The negotiations have been long, tough and uncertain, but it's great to finally have some good news.

"The whole James Hardie saga has made it a difficult and distressing year for people with asbestos-related diseases.

"This agreement will provide some comfort and relief to them as they prepare for Christmas with their families."

Stewart Beckworth, a father of nine who contracted mesothelioma from working with James Hardie products as a builder on the Mornington Peninsula, said the agreement had been a long time coming, but had been worth the wait.

The agreement provides for ongoing payments by James Hardie into a special purpose fund to compensate the company's asbestos victims.

The agreement runs to 30 pages of closely negotiated detail which will provide as great a certainty as possible that all current and future sufferers of asbestos-related diseases caused by James Hardie products will be compensated.

A number of mechanisms will apply to the funding arrangements to allow adjustments to contributions as claims unfold.

James Hardie's financial stability will be protected by a cap on the total percentage of profits payable into the fund in any one year.

"The fate of many Australians is inextricably linked with James Hardie through exposure to their asbestos products," Ms Staley said.

"This agreement will ensure that James Hardie cannot escape their own chains of responsibility to those they have harmed."

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Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2004 02:06 am
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Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2005 11:42 pm
Heat on Hardie rises in Indonesia
Stephen Fitzpatrick in Jakarta
January 28, 2005/the Australian

JAMES Hardie Industries must compensate Indonesians dying of asbestosis and mesothelioma if it can be proved the Australian company's operations caused the illnesses, Indonesia's peak medico-legal body has demanded.

Australia should also send doctors and other health experts to help uncover the extent of a problem the body says is emerging as an epidemic in Indonesia.

Iskandar Sitorus, chairman of the privately funded Legal Aid Institution for Health, or LBHK, said yesterday that Indonesian victims of the asbestos industry should be treated with "the same respect" as Australians.

"We want the same thing here as has been agreed in Australia - we want compensation," Mr Sitorus said
. .... <cont.>

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Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2005 11:45 pm
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Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 01:31 am
Hardie claims in NZ, Asia put deal here at risk
Ean Higgins and Claire Harvey
January 28, 2005/the Australian

THE deal reached for James Hardie Industries to pay billions of dollars to Australian asbestos victims could be jeopardised by new claims from New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

ACTU secretary Greg Combet and asbestos support group leaders are understood to be seriously worried that shareholders may baulk at the provisional deal if it means other countries where Hardie manufactured asbestos products will seek similar compensation.

That prospect mounted yesterday with the New Zealand Government saying it would consider demanding that Hardie compensate Kiwi asbestos victims, who receive less than $65 a week through a government-run scheme compared with the lump-sum payouts averaging $250,000 each in Australia.

In addition, plaintiff lawyers are mounting test cases to gauge the extent to which New Zealanders exposed to Hardie products can sue the company in Australia.
.... <cont.>

<complete article>
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Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2005 05:23 am
Eight months later & still no compensation payments for asbestos victims! Is James Hardie hoping they'll die before they get around to compensating them? Bastards!:

Union pressures James Hardie to pay asbestos compo

Unions are threatening a worldwide campaign against James Hardie industries if it renegs on a $1.7 billion compensation package for asbestos victims.

James Hardie is yet to pay the compensation to thousands of asbestos victims, despite agreeing to a deal with the New South Wales Government, unions and victims eight months ago.

Unions are planning to use James Hardie's annual shareholders information meeting tomorrow to pressure the company to finalise the compensation agreement.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) spokesman Andrew Ferguson says they will launch a worldwide campaign against James Hardie if the company abandons victims without any compensation.

"We hope James Hardie doesn't reneg. They need to do the right thing by victims but if they don't, the issue I'm confident, will get a lot of community support," he said.

"The victims are going to lead this campaign. They'll win community support and eventually James Hardie will pay."

A spokesman for James Hardie says the company is committed to achieving a long-term compensation agreement.

Mr Ferguson says asbestos victims and unions around the world are prepared to a join the campaign.

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Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2005 03:02 am
Asbestos pay-out held up over tax wrangle
August 19, 2005 - 12:39PM/SMH

Compensation payments to victims of James Hardie's asbestos products are being held up by a wrangle between the company and the tax office.

The issue is one of a number of problems delaying the finalisation of the asbestos compensation deal with NSW government, which had been expected to be completed by now.

The building products company wants any payouts to asbestos victims to be tax deductible but the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and federal treasury are yet to make a ruling on whether this will occur.

James Hardie chief executive Louis Gries today said tax deductibility was a crucial factor in whether the compensation deal actually went ahead.... <cont>

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Reply Mon 21 Nov, 2005 01:55 am
Last Update: Monday, November 21, 2005. 4:48pm (AEDT)

Hardie to be forced to pay compensation

The New South Wales Government will introduce special legislation next week to force building company James Hardie to pay compensation to asbestos victims.

The Government has been threatening legislation for some time, to call on the company to pay nearly $2 billion to victims.

Premier Morris Iemma says the company has had 11 months to sign an agreement, and while the Government would prefer a negotiated outcome, key stakeholders including the ACTU and victims' groups say their patience has run out.

Mr Iemma says if the company does not finalise the agreement by the end of the week, legislation will proceed to force the parent company in the Netherlands to pay money that was moved offshore in 2001.

While questions have previously been raised about the legality of such legislation, the Premier says the Government's advice is that it can proceed. ... <cont>

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Reply Mon 21 Nov, 2005 05:02 am
I'd like to note that not even close to all the victims are union members. This is another in a long line of cases where the unions are doing something because it's the right thing to do, and noone else will.
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Reply Mon 21 Nov, 2005 05:05 am
The NSW government has been pretty strong on this one, Wilso. As for James Hardie: A pox on them! Outrageous & shameful attitude!
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Reply Mon 21 Nov, 2005 05:07 am
It's one of the few things this gov't has done right.
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Reply Mon 21 Nov, 2005 05:10 am
I've been really impressed with their determination on this one. Surprised
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Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2005 02:30 am
And I really hope this happens. Serves James Hardie right if it does! Evil or Very Mad :

Hardie may face American boycott
By Roz Alderton
November 23, 2005/the Australian

JAMES Hardie Industries faces boycotts by construction unions across North America that may potentially lock it out of $86 billion worth of work for the Winter Olympics in Canada in 2010.

Construction unions in Australia are liaising with their counterparts in North America to arrange a ban on James Hardie's building products if it fails to arrange compensation for its Australian asbestos victims by the end of the year.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) NSW secretary Andrew Ferguson said the company needed to be taught a lesson in social justice.

"We have got people ready to initiate a global campaign against James Hardie if they renege," Mr Ferguson said.

"We're very confident it will have a significant impact on the profits of this multi-national."

The company, which manufactures fibre cement home cladding, reported a net profit of $US127 million ($172 million) in 2004-05, with about 80 per cent of its earnings coming from the US.

The head of the construction union for Canada's British Columbia province, Wayne Peppard, is in Sydney for discussions with the CFMEU and today met representatives from asbestos victims' groups.

"He is going back to his union to direct that there be a boycott in British Columbia against James Hardie," Mr Ferguson said.
... <cont>

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Reply Sun 27 Nov, 2005 03:01 am
Last Update: Sunday, November 27, 2005. 3:25pm (AEDT)

James Hardie compo deal close: Iemma

The New South Wales Premier, Morris Iemma, says the long awaited James Hardie compensation deal for asbestos victims is getting closer.

Mr Iemma also says the Government is committed to introducing a hostile legislation if a deal has not been struck by Tuesday.

He says James Hardie's deadline for signing off on a deal has long passed.

Mr Iemma says new legislation will be introduced on Tuesday even if the company comes to an agreement between now and then.

"The discussions are continuing as of today," he said.

"There was some progress early Friday afternoon so our negotiators are at work right now continuing discussions with James Hardie today.

"Regardless of what happens today there is legislation coming into Parliament this week."

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Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2005 01:04 am
Last Update: Monday, November 28, 2005. 4:00pm (AEDT)

Costello rules out compo tax break for James Hardie

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello has ruled out giving James Hardie Industries tax breaks on compensation payments to asbestos victims.

The company is still to sign off on a compensation package for victims, with the New South Wales Government ready to introduce laws tomorrow to force the company into a deal if an agreement can not be reached before then.

Mr Costello has also called on the New South Wales Government not to give immunity to directors of James Hardie against possible civil prosecution.

He says the company has to take responsibility for its product.
.. <cont>

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Reply Fri 16 Dec, 2005 03:33 am
A (tax break) deal was recently done with the NSW government. Now this:

.... Just weeks after the deal was finally sealed between the building company James Hardie and asbestos victims, there's been another delay, this one caused by the Australian Tax Office.

James Hardie executives had been wanting a special ruling to allow the company to claim deductions even though it's no longer headquartered in Australia.

Today the Australian Tax Office ruled against the company. ....

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Reply Mon 26 Jun, 2006 05:22 pm
I notice that it's something like 6 months since my last post. Those ex-workers with asbestos-related diseases are still waiting for financial compensation. Last week there was a court ruling on the "compensation packages" that has further delayed the payments:

Last Update: Sunday, June 25, 2006. 2:27pm (AEST)

Taxpayers shouldn't fund Hardie compo: Howard

....... The Australian Tax Office has ruled that a fund set up by James Hardie for asbestos victims is not a charity and will decide within the next month whether the company's contributions to the fund can be tax free.

Labor and the union movement have called on the Federal Government to step in to make sure tax concessions are offered, saying victims will miss out on compensation payments if they are not.

Mr Howard says the company should meet its obligations without burdening taxpayers.

"The principle has to be that James Hardie bears responsibility for this," Mr Howard said. ....


Certainly it's James Hardie's responsibility, but this is the likely outcome of the court's decision:

Asbestosis sufferers eye reduced payouts:

A Darwin asbestosis sufferer says a decision not to make victim compensation tax exempt means the Government could get more of his payout than he does.

....... The ATO has determined that James Hardie's Special Purpose Fund does not meet the legal requirements of a charity.

Mr Schipper says he has been told he should get nearly $200,000 compensation from the fund once legal fees are taken out.

He says taxing the payment means the Government could get more of the payout than he does.

Mr Schipper says it is a disgrace.

"I don't understand why they should be taxed - it's compensation for workers' compensation," he said.

"To tax that, I think is an absurd idea."

Mr Schipper, who was an electrician's offsider in Western Australia, needs regular doses of morphine.

"As soon as I go for a walk or do anything, I'm out of breath," he said.

"My life is no longer my life, it's just a mess."

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Reply Mon 26 Jun, 2006 05:50 pm
So we'll just have to wait to see what happens next, along with the lawyers & the victims.:

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