SA power workers fighting spread of ABCC

Aaron Furnell On a dreary winter’s afternoon in Adelaide, not far from a place that workers in the powerline distribution industry call “bullshit castle” – the headquarters of SA Power Networks – the Communication, Electrical and Plumber’s Union (CEPU) called a meeting on a pressing issue. The ABCC has...CONTINUE READING

Esso gas dispute: workers on the frontline against boss’ offensive

Jerome Small “We are resolute … I’ve fought for wages and conditions over the 40 years that I’ve been a construction worker. This issue at hand now, there has never been a more important issue than this fight that we are standing for right now.” Mal is a scaffolder-rigger. He has worked in the oil and...CONTINUE READING

Government building code: pressure increases on construction unions

Jerome Small The industrial pressure is increasing in the construction industry. Employers are pushing to amend enterprise agreements so that they comply with the government’s anti-union building code before it comes into full operation on 1 September. As well as national strikes and rallies by buildin...CONTINUE READING

Glencore locks out coal miners

Kaye Broadbent Glencore has locked workers out of its Oaky North underground coal mine. The 9 June lockout is a response to CFMEU members' efforts to protect their working conditions. Workers have established a 24 hour protest in front of the mine site. The Oaky North mine produces hard coking coal for e...CONTINUE READING

Real action on penalty rates still lacking

Azlan McLennan On 1 July, 700,000 workers in hospitality and other low-paid industries copped the first of a number of scheduled cuts to their Sunday penalty rates. That same day, federal politicians were given a pay rise of around $4,000 a year. Once the Sunday penalty rates cut has been phased in, the...CONTINUE READING

‘They can’t lock us all up’ – construction unions bring Melbourne to a halt

Jerome Small The jumble of cranes that dominate Melbourne’s skyline isn't moving today. The colossal building boom that’s transforming the city is stopped in its tracks. The power that our side has is on display for anyone who cares to look, as a river of fluro-clad workers flows out of construction si...CONTINUE READING

Black lung crisis: ‘Complete and total breakdown of the system’

Kaye Broadbent Black lung, or coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, a respiratory disease prevalent in the 1880s and thought to have been eradicated in Queensland in the 1980s, has “re-emerged”. The government claims that 20 cases have been confirmed. Speaking to Red Flag, Stephen Smyth, president of the CFMEU Q...CONTINUE READING

Rail workers still paying for the privatisation fight that never was

Andrew Martin Aurizon, formerly Queensland Rail, is closing its Rockhampton workshops and slashing 126 train crew positions. The decision is a major attack on the working class of central Queensland. Aurizon, which is one of the country’s largest rail freight companies, said the cuts were a “result of v...CONTINUE READING

Cost cutting threatens airport fire services

Andrew Cheeseman There are a lot of terrifying places to encounter a fire, but one of the worst has to be in or around an aircraft carrying 15,000 litres of fuel. Aviation rescue firefighters are there to make sure you don’t have to, and if all the fail-safes don’t work, they are there to save your life. L...CONTINUE READING