Meat pies, kangaroos, class struggle and Holden cars

Andrew Martin A red V8 SS Holden Commodore rolled off the Elizabeth production line in Adelaide on 20 October – the last of 7,687,675 Holdens produced in Australia since 1948. It marked the end of an era, with Toyota already ceasing local production in September and Ford in 2016. On the last day, Holden...CONTINUE READING

No Gaytimes this summer: union calls for ice cream boycott

Andrew Martin Ice cream manufacturer Streets, owned by Unilever, is the latest company to apply to terminate its enterprise agreement with its workforce. Workers at the Streets factory in Minto, south-west of Sydney, could be forced back on to the award if Streets wins its case at the Fair Work Commissi...CONTINUE READING

Rail workers still paying for the privatisation fight that never was

Andrew Martin Aurizon, formerly Queensland Rail, is closing its Rockhampton workshops and slashing 126 train crew positions. The decision is a major attack on the working class of central Queensland. Aurizon, which is one of the country’s largest rail freight companies, said the cuts were a “result of v...CONTINUE READING

Parmalat lockout: workers hold firm

Andrew Martin Seventy workers in the Victorian border town of Echuca are holding out against an aggressive attempt to gut their wages and conditions. The Parmalat factory, which usually manufactures dairy products, has been shut for more than 40 days due to a lockout imposed by the company. It has also...CONTINUE READING

From boom to bust in Western Australia

Andrew Martin The investment phase of one of the biggest mining booms in world history continues to wind down. Tens of thousands of jobs were shed from the industry in the two years after the boom’s peak in 2013. Earlier this year, National Australia Bank predicted 50,000 more would be lost as investmen...CONTINUE READING

Anxious times for coal miners

Andrew Martin Maintenance workers at the Griffin coal mine in Collie, Western Australia, went on strike for 24 hours as part of protected industrial action for a new union agreement on 24 June after the company forced through a 43 percent pay cut. The wage reduction affects 70 maintenance workers. Griff...CONTINUE READING

AMWU review proposes major changes as membership falls

Andrew Martin An unfamiliar scene played out recently at Brisbane’s port. On 15 February, in the middle of the night, six train cars, each 25 metres long and wrapped completely in plastic, were unloaded from the hull of a ship. The carriages will be used on the South East Queensland Rail Network. In the...CONTINUE READING

FIFO workers win new roster on Barrow Island

Andrew Martin After more than nine months of negotiations, workers involved in the construction of Chevron’s Barrow Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant have secured a new collective agreement. The deal was struck by the AMWU, ETU and CFMEU and covers more than 3,000 workers. Chevron does not employ...CONTINUE READING

Revolutionary lives: Jean Beadle

Andrew Martin The eastern goldfields in Western Australia were a turbulent place at the turn of the 20th century, a hotbed of militancy and the centre of labour politics in the state. Women had a tough time getting recognition here. According to the social mores of the time, they were expected to cease...CONTINUE READING