Change the Rules: biggest union demonstration in more than a decade 

Mick Armstrong Central Melbourne was shut down today by the largest union demonstration since the campaign against John Howard’s WorkChoices legislation. Both the Herald Sun and the Age report that up to 100,000 marched in the Change the Rules rally. There were large turnouts from the construction union,...CONTINUE READING

Marching to change the rules, and walking a little taller

Jerome Small I’m near the back of the march when we moved off from Trades Hall. Turning from Russell Street into La Trobe, I can see the colossal crowd stretching to the top of the hill on William St. “Look at us all! Look up the street!”, I start shouting at my fellow marchers, waving at the crowd in...CONTINUE READING

The system is broken, but we can’t rely on the ALP to change the rules

Tom Bramble The system is broken. Soaring bonuses at the top, rampant wage theft below. Corporate rorts left unchecked in the executive suites, the full weight of the police, courts and governments thrown at unions taking action. The fat cats rolling in money, the mass of workers left to rot. Far from...CONTINUE READING

Lessons from the Your Rights at Work campaign

Jerome Small As unions launch a round of protests under the Change the Rules banner, it’s worth recalling the history of the Your Rights at Work campaign, which concluded in 2007. Directed against the Howard government’s anti-worker WorkChoices legislation, Your Rights at Work protests were the biggest...CONTINUE READING

Behind the battle at the bureau: weather workers’ long fight

CPSU member Union members at the Bureau of Meteorology took strike action on 19 April as part of an enterprise agreement dispute that started in 2014. Over the course of bargaining, BoM staff have been offered some of the worst deals on pay and conditions in the Australian public service. With a workf...CONTINUE READING

After strike ban, NSW rail workers’ campaign loses steam

RTBU member The campaign by NSW railway workers has come to a disappointing end, management winning a slim majority for a new enterprise agreement. The deal falls well short of the demands of railway workers. After the Fair Work Commission banned a planned rail workers’ strike, Sydney Trains and NSW T...CONTINUE READING

Truckies protest unsafe conditions as deaths soar

Chris Anderton Hundreds of truck drivers and their supporters protested around Australia on 18 April to demand safer working conditions. With almost 40 percent of all workplace deaths last year involving a transport worker, trucking is one of the deadliest industries in the country. The protests, organis...CONTINUE READING

Victorian delegates meet for Change the Rules campaign

Jerome Small More than 1,600 unionists crammed into Melbourne’s Town Hall on 17 April for an all-union delegates meeting to launch the next phase of the Change the Rules campaign, which will involve street demonstrations around the country in coming weeks. Two hundred delegates couldn’t squeeze into th...CONTINUE READING

Are unions doomed to fail?

Tom Bramble It is often argued that the decline in employment in blue collar work, the closure of big factories, the impact of new technologies and privatisation and the growth of “non-standard” work (casualisation, outsourcing etc.) and job insecurity are responsible for falling unionisation rates be...CONTINUE READING