What’s the cost of weak unions? About $17,000 a year for our pay packets

Liz Ross If you’re angry about being ripped off by the banks, by power or telecommunication companies, you’ll be in a rage about the gouging of workers’ wages by employers. On average workers are being robbed of $16,750 every year. According to calculations by the Australia Institute, a think tank:...CONTINUE READING

Never powerless. Norm Wallace, 1926-2018

Liz Ross Norm Wallace, treasurer and assistant secretary of the Builders Labourers Federation until 1988, was no stranger to struggle. Described by the construction union as “a hard man with an amazing passion for social justice”, Norm’s life spanned from undercover work in Z Special Unit, formed d...CONTINUE READING

‘I’m part of the union!’ How the Builders Labourers Federation set the benchmark

Liz Ross You don’t get me, I’m part of the union, Till the day I die! The Strawbs’ hit “I’m part of the union” became an instant union anthem when it was released in 1973, a time of mass workers’ struggle around the world. You’ll still hear it today at union rallies and meetings, celebrating victor...CONTINUE READING

‘Alone in the dark with our money’ – the superannuation swindle

Liz Ross Legalised theft, avarice, Wild West lawlessness, price gouging, profiteering and secretive practices have been exposed by the Hayne royal commission as shockingly commonplace in Australia’s $620 billion retail superannuation industry. There are flagrant breaches of the law – such as fees f...CONTINUE READING

Superannuation, ‘the unlucky lottery’

Liz Ross Superannuation is one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated against the Australian working class. Instead of providing decent wages and a guaranteed liveable pension, the government requires money to be taken out of young workers’ incomes when they need it most and put into the stock marke...CONTINUE READING

Blackmail charges withdrawn: another flop for Coalition’s union witch-hunt 

Liz Ross Once again the government’s anti-union witch-hunt has come undone. The latest debacle for the Coalition is the spectacular abandonment of blackmail charges against the Victorian CFMMEU’s John Setka and Shaun Reardon. The charges were laid over a health and safety dispute with notorious Mel...CONTINUE READING

‘Parasite’ Serco to run Centrelink call centre

Liz Ross A company that has already brought misery to hundreds of thousands, including refugees and mainland prisoners, is now being given the keys to Australia’s social welfare system. The federal government has announced that some of Centrelink’s call centre functions will be outsourced to Serco....CONTINUE READING

Between a ROC and a desperate government

Liz Ross Suddenly, newsfeeds were full of clips of federal police marching into union offices in Melbourne and Sydney. In the full glare of the media – tipped off by a staffer in employment minister Michaelia Cash’s office – the police re-emerged with computers and boxes of files. It was, as labour...CONTINUE READING

Are the robots coming for your job?

Liz Ross When Henry Ford showed Walter Reuther, the veteran leader of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union, around a newly automated car plant, he reportedly asked, “Walter, how are you going to get those robots to pay your union dues?” “Henry, how are you going to get them to buy your cars?”,...CONTINUE READING