Workers across the country are facing a largely one-sided class war. A combination of bosses raising prices on essential goods, the housing crisis and profiteering on the part of energy companies is leading to a cost-of-living crisis. Conditions are ripe for a fight back: unemployment is at historic lows, and bosses are so desperate for labour they’re trying to entice pensioners back to work.
New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association members across the state have voted branch-by-branch to reaffirm their commitment to fighting for a pay rise of at least 7 percent, in defiance of union officials.
2001 was a watershed in Australian politics—the year that the Liberal federal government, led by John Howard, enacted the “Pacific solution” of offshore imprisonment of refugees and asylum seekers, thumbed its nose at the Aboriginal stolen generations, joined the US-led “war on terror” and participated in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, which became Australia’s longest war. It was a year that was decisive in shifting Australian political culture to the right and creating a meaner, nastier society and a more violent and repressive state.
Sydney’s outbreak developed through the inaction of a government that staked its reputation on hostility to lockdown measures. Non-essential retailers like Bunnings, the Reject Shop and Gucci remained open weeks into the outbreak; Bunnings was told to reduce operations to click-and-collect only eight weeks into lockdown. But workers’ lives are being risked by more than the extremely broad interpretation of what is “essential”.
Wollongong activists and unionists were shocked to hear of the sudden passing of Anthony Ashbolt, a lifelong fighter against injustice, at the age of 67.
During the Great Depression, the coal mining town of Wollongong imposed harsh restrictions on free speech and the right to protest. It was an attempt to clamp down on a growing radical workers' movement. Communists led the resistance.