Abbott declares war on the unions

Jerome Small The Abbott government is stepping up its attacks on workers and our unions. In parliament, in the courts, in the media, through a string of inquiries and in some of the key workplaces across the country, our unions are under enormous pressure. How we respond to this challenge will decide a...CONTINUE READING

SPC workers won’t sell out conditions

Jerome Small If you believe Tony Abbott, SPC Ardmona workers have only themselves to blame. As the jobs of 500 cannery workers hang in the balance Tony Abbott says it’s their “extraordinary” and “over generous” enterprise agreement that has driven the company to the wall. Mark Owens sees it differently...CONTINUE READING

Crime, class, and corruption in construction

Jerome Small There’s a class content to “crime”. Just look at the legal cases. A company that kills a construction worker through gross neglect of health and safety can plead guilty, like Perth construction company Cochrane and Sons in October last year, and pay a fine of just $65,000 while WorkSafe tu...CONTINUE READING

International problems require international solutions

Jerome Small She works for a car company, mainly imports but a bit of manufacturing. He works in a Melbourne factory, for one of the biggest automotive component makers in the world. Between them they hold a banner that reads: Australian Made Parts Australian Made Cars Save Our Kids Future Save Our Job...CONTINUE READING

Warehouse workers to take action

Jerome Small Hundreds of Coles warehouse workers in Truganina, in Melbourne’s outer west, have voted to take industrial action. It’s not hard to work out why. Injury rates at the site are horrific. In warehouses across the country, one in ten workers on average has filed a WorkCover claim. At the Coles...CONTINUE READING

Abbott to construction workers: drop dead

Jerome Small It’s a sickening equation, but not a surprising one. The Abbott government’s resurrection of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) will kill workers. I started working in commercial construction in Melbourne in the late 1990s. After any serious safety incident, the ent...CONTINUE READING

How Yallourn power workers won

Jerome Small After a 100 day lockout, 75 workers at the Yallourn power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley are celebrating a significant win. After a bruising industrial fight more than a decade ago, Yallourn workers were left with the worst enterprise agreement in Australia’s power generation industr...CONTINUE READING

Liberals kick weakest first

Jerome Small A spokesperson for Tony Abbott has confirmed that a $1.2 billion scheme to improve wages in the aged care industry, promised by Labor, will now be junked. The scheme has yet to deliver workers their first slated pay rise. A key feature of the now defunct deal, negotiated by the Nurses’ Fed...CONTINUE READING

Militant unionism can hold off Abbott

Jerome Small “Fair Work Unleashes Mob Rule – And It’s Spreading!” Every day over the past year, some hyperventilating headline writer had the job of proving that the Labor government was controlled by militant unions. Especially in the Murdoch press, claims of “mob rule”, a “staggering” level of strike...CONTINUE READING