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

Curtis Island result a setback in roster fight

Steph Price Unions have lost a major showdown over fly-in fly-out (FIFO) rosters in the resources sector. A ten month dispute with Bechtel on Curtis Island ended on 15 August with a slim majority voting to accept a company offer. The result means that Bechtel’s FIFO workforce will remain on a 4/1 (fou...CONTINUE READING

Where have all the libraries gone?

Katie Wood Towards the end of my undergraduate degree, I was in the library looking for a book for an assignment about the US civil rights movement when I happened across another book, located on the same shelf – Negroes with Guns. Negroes with Guns is a somewhat forgotten tract of the early civil ri...CONTINUE READING

Contract teaching takes a toll

A union survey has revealed a jump in the number of new Victorian teachers on short-term contracts. According to the Australian Education Union (AEU), close to two-thirds of teachers in their first five years on the job are employed on fixed-term contracts. The number of new teachers emplo...CONTINUE READING