Union protests Vic Labor’s NDIS privatisation

Steph Price, Jerome Small Hundreds of disability sector workers and their supporters rallied outside the Victorian state parliament on 12 May over the government’s plans to privatise Victoria’s disability support sector. Workers are furious about Labor premier Daniel Andrews trashing an election promise to keep dis...CONTINUE READING

Turnbull’s 457 visa fraud

Jerome Small “The coalition government – ensuring Aussie workers have priority for Aussie jobs – abolishing the 457 work visa.” You can find these words on immigration minister Peter Dutton’s website – superimposed over a picture of a giant muddy backhoe, digging dirt in some remote-looking location. T...CONTINUE READING

Democracy and the state in the age of Trump

Jerome Small The world’s greatest democracy is in danger. A “deep state”, unaccountable to democratic control, spies on a presidential candidate. Shadowy security forces leak damaging, and often false, secret dossiers. When the anti-establishment candidate is elected, the deep state moves into high gea...CONTINUE READING

The right is wrong to scoff at CFMEU comparisons

Jerome Small It’s been a big week for holier-than-thou scoffing from right wing commentators. In the wake of ACTU secretary Sally McManus’ comments last week, endorsing the idea of breaking unjust laws, many people pointed out that McManus’ sentiments echoed the views of US civil rights movement icons...CONTINUE READING

What we need to revive our union movement

Jerome Small “I believe in the rule of law where the law is fair and the law is right. But when the law is unjust, I don’t think there’s a problem with breaking it.” This unexpected and forthright declaration by the new secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, points to one i...CONTINUE READING

Trump and the forces of repression

Jerome Small In May 1970, National Guard soldiers fired live ammunition into a crowd of anti-war student protesters at Kent State University, Ohio. When the firing stopped, four students, all unarmed, lay dead. In early February this year, mass demonstrations prevented a planned speech by right wing ex...CONTINUE READING

The US working class vs. Donald Trump

Jerome Small Amid the waves of protest sweeping the United States, we get a glimpse of the incredible power that organised workers can bring to a mass movement. On 20 January, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, unionised dock workers shut down the massive port of Oakland, California, one of the bu...CONTINUE READING

Is a union revival still possible?

Jerome Small “Organise the unorganised!” A century ago, this was one of the key demands that militants raised in the trade unions. It’s a slogan we should revive. With only 15 percent of the workforce in unions, there’s no shortage of workers who would benefit from a union organising drive. And there i...CONTINUE READING

‘Thirty bucks, no trucks!’ Warehouse workers strike back against Coles

Jerome Small A dramatic three-day strike by hundreds of Melbourne warehouse workers, members of the National Union of Workers, has won important gains. The standout feature of the strike was the widespread and effective use of mobile pickets. In a rarity for present-day strikes in Australia, the worker...CONTINUE READING