Meat pies, kangaroos, class struggle and Holden cars

Andrew Martin A red V8 SS Holden Commodore rolled off the Elizabeth production line in Adelaide on 20 October – the last of 7,687,675 Holdens produced in Australia since 1948. It marked the end of an era, with Toyota already ceasing local production in September and Ford in 2016. On the last day, Holden...CONTINUE READING

‘A fight we must not back down from’ – Oaky North coal miners take on Glencore

Priya De Tieri is a company town – established in the early ’80s by mining bosses who wanted a workforce on hand in a remote part of Queensland. Most of the 1,600 or so people who live there today have something to do with Glencore’s coal mines in Oaky Creek. Lachlan has worked at Oaky Creek as a c...CONTINUE READING

Protesting union busting at Victoria University

Roz Ward “What’s disgusting? Union busting” was the most popular chant at a protest outside Victoria University’s Melbourne city campus on 2 November. The action, organised by the National Tertiary Education Union, was called to coincide with a meeting of the University Council, the body responsibl...CONTINUE READING

RMIT tries blocking industrial action vote

Liam Ward Ten weeks after we started the balloting process, staff at RMIT University will soon learn whether we’ve been granted the right to take industrial action. The lengthy delay was caused by our employer, three times in a row, objecting to the ballot. By the time we win our legal right to take...CONTINUE READING

Sydney solidarity rally with PNG maritime workers

Diane Fieldes The Sydney branch of the Maritime Union of Australia organised a rally on 31 October in support of 1,000 dock workers in Papua New Guinea who have been sacked and replaced with more exploited non-union labour. The sackings were condemned as an act of corporate greed and union-busting by th...CONTINUE READING

Beating anti-union laws: the Clarrie O’Shea strike

Katie Wood On 15 May 1969, union leader Clarrie O’Shea was jailed for refusing to allow the industrial court access to his union’s accounts. The Tramways Union had been fined under the penal powers, the coercive sections of the Arbitration Act, for taking industrial action. The penal powers had been...CONTINUE READING

No easy answers but important discussions at union conference

Jerome Small “So, what can we do to turn things around?” The question was asked in the first session at Socialist Alternative’s annual Union Activism and History Conference, held at Trades Hall in Melbourne on 14 October. More than 230 unionists and socialists spent the day addressing elements of that...CONTINUE READING

No Gaytimes this summer: union calls for ice cream boycott

Andrew Martin Ice cream manufacturer Streets, owned by Unilever, is the latest company to apply to terminate its enterprise agreement with its workforce. Workers at the Streets factory in Minto, south-west of Sydney, could be forced back on to the award if Streets wins its case at the Fair Work Commissi...CONTINUE READING

Thousands of warehouse workers prepare for strike

Steph Price Around 2,000 workers in four Woolworths distribution centres have begun pursuing legally protected industrial action, the National Union of Workers lodging applications with the Fair Work Commission for protected action ballots. All of the sheds involved have histories of striking for impr...CONTINUE READING