Fight looming for QLD electricity workers

Carl Jackson It’s budget day in Queensland, and 2,000 electrical trades workers from across the state’s south east are rallying outside parliament. They are protesting what the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) calls the “privatisation by stealth” of the state’s electricity services. The Palaszczuk Labor g...CONTINUE READING

Silicosis may pose a threat bigger than black lung disease

Carl Jackson Less than three years after the startling admission by the Queensland government that the deadly black lung disease – eradicated in Australia since the 1970s – is making a comeback on the state’s coalfields, a potentially bigger killer of coal miners is emerging: silicosis, which is caused...CONTINUE READING

Downer workers strike to win back conditions 

Dominique Houzet Hundreds of workers across New South Wales have struck against Downer Group to demand a wage increase and to win back conditions lost in their last enterprise agreement. The three-day strike – from 6 to 8 June – and an indefinite ban on overtime are a part of the Downer workers’ industrial...CONTINUE READING

Protest demands right to strike

MUA member More than 500 maritime and construction workers rallied outside the Fair Work Commission in Sydney on 29 May. The protest was initiated by the Maritime Union of Australia to demand the right to strike. Marching from Town Hall to the steps of the commission, the rally took aim at the indust...CONTINUE READING

Interview: Hospo workers fighting back

What happened at Barry cafe? I started working at Barry in February last year, and when I took the job, I didn’t realise I was being underpaid. I was told I would be paid $18 an hour as a flat rate and I didn’t question it … but then friends started telling me to check the Fair Work websit...CONTINUE READING

UNSW staff strike against workload pressure

NTEU member Staff at the University of New South Wales walked off the job for 24 hours over workload concerns on 30 May. The strike was part of the NTEU’s campaign for a new workplace agreement. More than 100 workers picketed the main gates of the university’s Kensington campus. Around 100 students jo...CONTINUE READING

Dutton attacks workers and asylum seekers with one blow

ASU member Three hundred staff at the Australian Red Cross have been sacked as the federal government unleashes its latest attack on asylum seekers. The Home Affairs Department has implemented sweeping cuts to asylum seeker assistance services. Seeking asylum in Australia is a notoriously slow and co...CONTINUE READING

Minimum wage case: Pennies for workers, billions for the rich

Oscar Sterner The Fair Work Commission awarded a pittance to workers on 1 June, increasing the minimum wage by 3.5 percent – an extra $24.30 per week. Although slightly ahead of inflation, this is less than half of the $50 weekly rise sought by the Australian Council of Trade Unions. According to the co...CONTINUE READING

The problem with the Fair Work Act

Tom Bramble The Fair Work Act that is the target of the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign undermines wages and conditions and hamstrings trade unions. Passed by the Rudd Labor government in 2009, it is a particularly ugly piece of legislation, with many obvious problems. The Howard government’s WorkCho...CONTINUE READING