Sacrifices and difficult decisions need to be made and government spending needs to be cut to clear the Victorian government’s debt. That’s what Spring Street is telling us is required: budget cuts, an annual wage increase cap for public servants, and job losses.
In a major escalation of war games near China, the armed forces of the Philippines and US troops are holding the largest annual Balikatan military exercises in history. From 11 to 28 April, 12,200 US military personnel, 5,400 Philippine forces and 111 Australian troops are taking part in the drills. Balikatan—meaning “shoulder-to-shoulder” in Tagalog, the national language—will be the first time Philippine and US forces engage in live-fire exercises at sea.
For the first time in 25 years, Qenos workers in Altona, in Melbourne’s west, went on strike this month. Thirty-five plant operators voted unanimously to walk out to demand safer operating conditions, a 7 percent pay rise over the next three years and the removal of a four-year traineeship that systematically underpays new staff.
Thirty-six years after disgraced dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr was driven out of the Philippines by the “People Power” movement, his son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr has been elected president in a landslide victory.
Clothing donated for a relief operation was instead used to wipe Emmanuel Asuncion’s blood off the floor of the Worker’s Assistance Center in the Calabarzon region of the Philippines on 7 March. Not too far away in Batangas, the 9-year-old son of Chai Lemita Evangelista and Ariel Evangelista hid under his bed after witnessing the state-sanctioned murder of his parents in their bamboo home.