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

Brisbane Council backs down on rosters

Kaye Broadbent A three-week lockout of Brisbane City Council electricians has ended with a win for union members. Agreeing to the electricians’ main demand, the council has dropped a “flexible” rostering proposal from its enterprise agreement offer. On 26 May, 25 of the council’s 30 electricians began ta...CONTINUE READING

It’s champagne for the bosses as workers are shafted

Tom Bramble Australia has now experienced 26 years without a recession, a world record. But the rising tide is not lifting all boats. Corporate Australia is enjoying a profits bonanza while workers are under pressure on every front. The national accounts published this week show that, in the first thr...CONTINUE READING