David confronts a goliath in yellow overalls

Jeremy Gibson The struggle by residents against the construction of a McDonald’s in the Dandenong Ranges township of Tecoma has entered a difficult new phase, with eight protesters now being sued by the company. The campaign began in earnest in October 2012, when, after its plans to build a 24-hour outlet in Tecoma were knocked back by the local council, McDonald’s appealed directly to the Victorian planning tribunal. Ig...CONTINUE READING

Equal pay decision means nothing without a fight

Cecilia Judge Whoever said that battles are won in the street, not the courtroom, had sage advice for community sector workers. More than a year after a significant legal victory, we’re still fighting for equal pay. Last year, Fair Work Australia (now the Fair Work Commission) recognised that workers in the community sector are paid considerably less for doing the same work as workers in other sectors like government and...CONTINUE READING

Pre-election rallies against education cuts

Sarah Garnham The latest round of demonstrations against cuts to university funding, on 20 August, brought out students and staff across the country. The biggest turnout was in Melbourne, where 1,000 people marched through the streets and delivered our message directly to the office of newly appointed education minister Kim Carr. The cuts, which were introduced earlier this year by the Labor government, will cut off thou...CONTINUE READING

Child welfare workers strike over shortages

Kate Doherty Pru Goward, the NSW minister for community services, has been caught lying about staffing shortages in her department. Workers in the Department of Community Services, members of the Public Services Association, shone the spotlight on Goward’s lie when they walked out in stop-work actions across the state on Tuesday 20 August. Goward has repeatedly claimed that there are more than 2,000 caseworkers across t...CONTINUE READING

University workers make it six in a row

Nearly a year into bargaining at Sydney University, the fight has come down to wages. A strike on 20 August was held to send a clear message to management that a pay cut is unacceptable. This action brings the strike tally for the campaign to six. The campus was deserted, with many classes cancelled and traffic disrupted at university entrances. At the Ross Street gate, more than 65 cars were turned away in...CONTINUE READING

Queensland LNP no friend to union members

Paul DM Under the guise of making unions more “accountable” to their members, the state Liberal National Party government is forcing Queensland unions to publish their spending details online from this month. In the latest attempt to undermine the key force in the state that can resist its attacks on workers and the poor, the LNP is accusing unions of “wining and dining” at members’ expense. Under the new rules, cr...CONTINUE READING

Standing up to transphobia in the workplace

Liz Ross “Divide and conquer” has long been the watchword of the ruling class. Capitalism forces workers into competition with each other – local versus foreign-born, skilled versus unskilled etc – exploiting every opportunity to keep workers divided. While unions are the first line of defence against attempts to divide us, to attack our conditions, not everyone is in a unionised workplace. That’s the case for Angel...CONTINUE READING

The LNP is a cancer on QLD public health

Paul DM A new $1.8 billion public hospital being built on the Sunshine Coast is to be handed over to private sector interests. This is the latest of Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party government attacks on the public sector. While the Sunshine Coast University Hospital will remain government owned, it will be operated for profit, meaning that the hospital will be operated in the interests of private sharehold...CONTINUE READING

Warehouse workers issue ‘final warning’

Daniel Taylor Workers at a Toll Holdings warehouse in the Melbourne suburb of Somerton have issued a “first and final warning” to their bosses. In language any human resources manager would be proud of, workers are threatening “disciplinary action as necessary” if the company doesn’t clean up its act. Toll is a massive logistics company. Its warehouses supply major supermarket chains including Coles. In July it was revea...CONTINUE READING