Minimum wage case: Pennies for workers, billions for the rich

Oscar Sterner The Fair Work Commission awarded a pittance to workers on 1 June, increasing the minimum wage by 3.5 percent – an extra $24.30 per week. Although slightly ahead of inflation, this is less than half of the $50 weekly rise sought by the Australian Council of Trade Unions. According to the co...CONTINUE READING

The problem with the Fair Work Act

Tom Bramble The Fair Work Act that is the target of the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign undermines wages and conditions and hamstrings trade unions. Passed by the Rudd Labor government in 2009, it is a particularly ugly piece of legislation, with many obvious problems. The Howard government’s WorkCho...CONTINUE READING

Blackmail charges withdrawn: another flop for Coalition’s union witch-hunt 

Liz Ross Once again the government’s anti-union witch-hunt has come undone. The latest debacle for the Coalition is the spectacular abandonment of blackmail charges against the Victorian CFMMEU’s John Setka and Shaun Reardon. The charges were laid over a health and safety dispute with notorious Mel...CONTINUE READING

Union launches national campaign for minimum ratios in aged care

Peter Carter At rallies across the country on 12 May, the nurses’ union kicked off a national campaign to win nurse-resident ratios in aged care. While ratios currently set minimum staffing levels in Australia’s childcare centres and public hospitals, there are no minimum staff-resident ratios in most...CONTINUE READING

Workers defy Fair Work ban on social golf day

MUA member Workers at DP World’s Port Botany terminal have defied a Fair Work Commission ruling ordering them not to participate in a golf day. The commission agreed with the company that attendance at the social day would constitute unlawful industrial action. The decision, issued by a Labor appoint...CONTINUE READING

NSW nurses fighting privatisation of health care

Jack Mansell Hundreds of nurses and midwives from Manly and Mona Vale hospitals rallied on 2 May in defence of hard-won conditions. The action was the latest in a five-year campaign against the closure of the two hospitals located in Sydney’s Northern Beaches area. Nurses working at the hospitals are b...CONTINUE READING

Qube wharfies hold their ground

MUA member A protracted dispute at Qube Ports Melbourne is drawing to a close. For two years, workers have been negotiating with the bulk and general stevedoring company for a new enterprise agreement. An in-principle agreement was endorsed by members of the Maritime Union of Australia at a meeting a...CONTINUE READING

Melbourne Uni staff strike back against administration attack

Katie Wood Melbourne University’s sandstone façade provides a genteel mask for a ruthless agenda to squeeze more and more out of those working there. The administration’s years-long productivity push currently appears as a number of proposed attacks on staff conditions. In the context of ongoing ente...CONTINUE READING

Melbourne cafe latest to be exposed for wage theft

Llanon Davis Around 60 protesters descended on Barry cafe in Melbourne’s inner north on 23 April for a snap action against wage theft. The protest was called to expose the cafe’s treatment of a group of nine employees who asked to be paid the legal minimum rate. The bosses of Barry have been underpayin...CONTINUE READING