When even the scientists are marching

Liz Ross Brandishing pieces of coal during parliamentary sessions passes for evidence these days, according to climate change sceptics. In this age of alternative facts, filing lawsuits against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the denial of human agency in global warming are key qua...CONTINUE READING

The Registered Organisations Commission is bad news for union members

Liz Ross Dirty deals done dirt cheap – that’s how the Coalition got the Registered Organisations Commission and Australian Building and Construction Commission bills through parliament in the last weeks of November. Predictably, the eight Senate cross-benchers, with whom the unions frequently – and...CONTINUE READING

From gays at work to union pride

Liz Ross From the beginning, LGBTI workers knew that our rights at work not only were worth fighting for, but had to be fought for. From Gay Liberation joining the May Day Committee in 1974 to the Gay Teachers and Students Group’s formation in 1975; from the peak union body’s push for anti-discrimi...CONTINUE READING

Wapping – the bitterest of disputes

Liz Ross The 1980s were brutal years for workers and their unions as the neoliberal wave crossed the world. With it came austerity and an employers’ offensive. Strong unions were among the first targeted. In Australia, it was the Builders Labourers and the Pilots and in the US, the Air Traffic Cont...CONTINUE READING

Lynn Beaton, a fighter for the working class

Liz Ross As we joined the Canto Coro community choir in singing “The Internationale”, fists raised, we farewelled Brunswick-based activist and historian Lynn Beaton. It was a living experience of a saying of Lynn’s favourite musician, Dmitri Shostakovich: “Real music is always revolutionary, for it...CONTINUE READING

How a union saved the city

Liz Ross Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Market is up for World Heritage listing. The city’s lord mayor, Liberal Party member Robert Doyle, is at the forefront of the campaign extolling the market’s virtues and its 138-year history. What you won’t find anywhere in the lord mayor’s talking points...CONTINUE READING
Richard Levins

Remembering Richard Levins, a scientist and a red

Liz Ross Richard Levins, who had a lifetime history of left wing involvement in science and its politics, died on 19 January. A “red diaper baby”, as those born to Communist Party members became known, Levins wrote, “When I was a boy I always assumed that I would grow up to be both a scientist and...CONTINUE READING

Productivity commission targets the weakest – and the strongest

Liz Ross Tony Abbott knows WorkChoices is electoral poison. So much so that he’s distancing the government from the Productivity Commission’s recent WorkChoices-like recommendations. It’s a report “to government, not from government”, he spluttered. But the Productivity Commission’s draft workplace...CONTINUE READING

Capitalism 101 in Greece: cash in on the misery

Liz Ross The troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, along with their partners in the Greek ruling class, have wreaked havoc in the southern European nation. A social crisis, the likes of which has not been seen since the war and depression...CONTINUE READING