What we need to revive our union movement

Jerome Small “I believe in the rule of law where the law is fair and the law is right. But when the law is unjust, I don’t think there’s a problem with breaking it.” This unexpected and forthright declaration by the new secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, points to one i...CONTINUE READING

No profit from rape: unionists fight privatisation of helpline

In 2015, Malcolm Turnbull and Michaelia Cash – that woman who fails to report the multi-million dollar investment properties she has – fronted the media and announced to the world that the Liberal government was going to provide an extra $5 million funding to the 1800RESPECT service. They...CONTINUE READING

‘We are not babysitters, we are educators!’

Lauren Stevenson Around 1,000 early learning educators marked International Women’s Day by walking off the job to protest their low pay. It was the latest action in United Voice’s Big Steps campaign, which is demanding the federal government fund a wage increase for workers in the sector. Staff at the Daws...CONTINUE READING

National union protests draw thousands

Steph Price Thousands of workers poured onto the streets across the country on 9 March in the first major mobilisations since the Fair Work Commission decision to cut penalty rates. In Melbourne, where the protest was the largest, CBD building sites were emptied as well over 10,000, mostly constructio...CONTINUE READING

Breaking unjust laws is a no-brainer

Tom Bramble Listen to the Coalition squeal like stuck pigs when the incoming ACTU secretary Sally McManus dares to state the bleeding obvious: unjust laws should be broken in the fight for social justice. Employment minister Michaelia Cash said that McManus’ comments were “outrageous”. Environment and...CONTINUE READING

Crunch time for university staff as management buoyed by Murdoch attack

Alex McAuley Over the last few weeks, hundreds of thousands of students walked onto university campuses for the first time. They were met with banners, websites and presentations welcoming them to august public institutions where collaboration and reasoned discussion are key. But contrary to their mark...CONTINUE READING

Parmalat lockout: workers hold firm

Andrew Martin Seventy workers in the Victorian border town of Echuca are holding out against an aggressive attempt to gut their wages and conditions. The Parmalat factory, which usually manufactures dairy products, has been shut for more than 40 days due to a lockout imposed by the company. It has also...CONTINUE READING

Penalty rates cut a punch in the gut

Azlan McLennan The verdict is in: the attack on penalty rates is class war. The dress rehearsal for going after the nurses, ambos, firies and everyone else’s penalty rates is a historic defeat for our side. For me – a hospo worker – the Fair Work Commission decision is like a punch in the guts. But the a...CONTINUE READING

Fair Work and the horrible history of arbitration

Tom Bramble The cuts to penalty rates by the Fair Work Commission are not the first anti-working class decisions taken by this body and they won’t be the last. The Fair Work Commission and its predecessor organisations have for more than a century attacked workers’ wages, undermined conditions of empl...CONTINUE READING