A moment to savour

Jerome Small It was the first or second protest we had in Melbourne, against John Howard's homophobic ban on same sex marriage. There were maybe three or four dozen of us, standing near the statues at the State Library in a thin Melbourne drizzle. “This campaign is going nowhere”, I remember thinking....CONTINUE READING

No easy answers but important discussions at union conference

Jerome Small “So, what can we do to turn things around?” The question was asked in the first session at Socialist Alternative’s annual Union Activism and History Conference, held at Trades Hall in Melbourne on 14 October. More than 230 unionists and socialists spent the day addressing elements of that...CONTINUE READING

A vicious turn in the class struggle

Jerome Small Penalty rates slashed. A renewed attack on the construction unions. Long-established conditions trashed at key industrial sites. And now, courtesy of Fair Work’s decision to scrap the enterprise agreement at Murdoch University, a renewed onslaught on white collar workers in government-owne...CONTINUE READING

Striking weather workers bringing a storm

Jerome Small How disruptive is the industrial action to management? How much industrial power do you actually have? The action we are taking is highly disruptive. We have a good density of members in the key operational areas involved with issuing forecasts and taking real-time observations. As a union...CONTINUE READING

Esso gas dispute: workers on the frontline against boss’ offensive

Jerome Small “We are resolute … I’ve fought for wages and conditions over the 40 years that I’ve been a construction worker. This issue at hand now, there has never been a more important issue than this fight that we are standing for right now.” Mal is a scaffolder-rigger. He has worked in the oil and...CONTINUE READING

Government building code: pressure increases on construction unions

Jerome Small The industrial pressure is increasing in the construction industry. Employers are pushing to amend enterprise agreements so that they comply with the government’s anti-union building code before it comes into full operation on 1 September. As well as national strikes and rallies by buildin...CONTINUE READING
Fascists march in Melbourne

Fascists marched through my town last weekend

Jerome Small Fascists carried out a march in Melbourne on 25 June. Actual fascists. The kind of people who say, “There should be a picture of Hitler in every classroom”. A group that describes itself as “the fist of Australia” and tried to march through multicultural Coburg last year spreading “force a...CONTINUE READING

‘They can’t lock us all up’ – construction unions bring Melbourne to a halt

Jerome Small The jumble of cranes that dominate Melbourne’s skyline isn't moving today. The colossal building boom that’s transforming the city is stopped in its tracks. The power that our side has is on display for anyone who cares to look, as a river of fluro-clad workers flows out of construction si...CONTINUE READING

Locked-out timber workers draw the line

Jerome Small It’s a pretty place for a picket line, an unlikely setting for a crucial working class struggle. Workers in the small north-east Victorian town of Myrtleford have found themselves on the front lines of resistance against an aggressive, anti-worker push being carried out by some of the bigg...CONTINUE READING