NSW delegates’ meeting calls on union leaders to fight

Around 200 people attended a Unions NSW cross-industry delegates meeting on 17 September. Delegates, members and officials met in the Sydney Masonic Centre in the second such meeting organised this year. Attendees heard about the impact of state and federal anti-worker policies. However, n...CONTINUE READING

Is that ‘police intelligence’, or did you read it in the Herald Sun?

Jerome Small It was bold – even by the standard of police frame-ups. On 19 September, the assistant commissioner of Victoria Police, Steve Fontana, took the witness stand at the Trade Union Royal Commission. His claims were spectacular: “Victoria Police intelligence indicates that criminal activity is...CONTINUE READING

Building code aims to slash conditions

Patrick Araya If they want to smash unionism in Australia, the Liberals know that they have to go after the strongest first. Thatcher did it with the miners in the ’80s; Howard botched an attempt with the wharfies in 1998. This time around, construction workers and their unions are targeted. One of the...CONTINUE READING

Abbott kicks young workers in the guts

Liz Ross Tony Abbott signalled his “tough love” for young unemployed workers as early as 2010, telling mining magnates he could solve their labour shortage and “entice the unemployed to head west” by cutting everyone under 30 off the dole. One boss enthused, “I thought to myself: here is a guy who...CONTINUE READING

Where is the union response on penalty rates?

Azlan McLennan In May bosses in the hospitality sector were rewarded (for being bosses in the hospitality sector) with a Fair Work ruling allowing them to cut the wages of 40,000 workers. The decision to slash 25 percent from the Sunday penalty rates of casual workers on the lowest two pay grades of the...CONTINUE READING

Maintenance workers down tools in WA

Andrew Martin The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has been fighting on two fronts in the south-west of Western Australia. One dispute is with the company that operates the Collie Power Station, Transfield Worley. The other is with AGC, an engineering firm that provides maintenance services for mi...CONTINUE READING

Queensland government goes after power workers

Liam Kay The Queensland branch of the Electrical Trades Union has walked out of negotiations with a government-owned energy company over a dispute about “cultural diversity” recognition. Powerlink, which owns and manages much of the state’s electricity transmission infrastructure, wants to scrap a...CONTINUE READING

Union-basher is no friend of equality

Duncan Hart Human rights commissioner Tim Wilson recently announced his intention to conduct an investigation into the practices of the retail workers’ union – the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA). The impetus for the investigation was the testimony of an SDA ex-official at A...CONTINUE READING

Why Palestine is union business

Jerome Small “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King’s observation, written half a century ago from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, is as true today as ever. And it goes to the heart of why Palestine is an issue for workers in Australia. History confirms that revo...CONTINUE READING