Bosses prepare for industrial war

Jerome Small As the Liberals prepare for government, some major employers are preparing for war. Australia needs “a dose of Margaret Thatcher” according to Mark Adamson, the boss of Fletcher Building Ltd, one of the largest construction companies in Australia. His sentiments are echoed throughout secti...CONTINUE READING

Hundreds rally in solidarity with Yallourn workers

Jerome Small The construction workers are the first to arrive in Collins Street. Delegations have come from construction sites around Melbourne’s CBD to support 75 power station workers from Yallourn, locked out eight weeks ago. Three bus loads of Yallourn workers and their families arrive. They’ve bee...CONTINUE READING

Refugees are a union issue

Jerome Small Every unionist knows that “an injury to one is an injury to all”. This applies to refugees as much as the rest of us. If it is seen as “normal” that people are detained by the Australian government without charge or trial – or simply deported at a government’s whim – this makes it seem “no...CONTINUE READING

A migration system driven by profit

Jerome Small Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! – “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty...CONTINUE READING

The surveillance state exists to suppress dissent

Jerome Small “Boundless Informant” – the name says it all. This US government data-mining project, exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden along with the PRISM project, gathers and sorts literally billions of pieces of data on us, enabling spy agencies to piece together our activities, associations and...CONTINUE READING

Melbourne wharfies say no to a death sentence

Jerome Small Three workers dead, out of a workforce of 250, in the past 10 years. Some might believe that, in Australia in 2013, a company with a track record like this might think twice about dismissing workers who strictly follow health and safety rules.That’s obviously not the thinking at Qube Logis...CONTINUE READING
Jessie Cayanan speaking in Melbourne

‘If I don’t agree I will be deported’

Jerome Small Jessie Cayanan is a welder from the Philippines, on a subclass 457 temporary visa. On Saturday 22 June he was one of several workers to address a meeting of Melbourne’s Filipino community, convened by the Filipino migrant organisation Migrante. Jessie explained that after two months on the...CONTINUE READING

Labor’s ‘reforms’ leave anti-worker 457 visa system intact

Jerome Small In the first week of June, Fairfax newspapers exposed the ruthless exploitation of workers on employer-sponsored working visas. Hundreds of workers from India and the Philippines paid recruitment agents between $5,000 and $40,000. Some workers were required to pay 48 percent interest rates...CONTINUE READING

What will it take to revive our union movement?

Jerome Small As we lurch towards a likely Abbott landslide, Jerome Small takes stock of the union movement Despite the huffing of the conservative press, unions have made few gains under Gillard. Very little of the ground lost under Howard’s WorkChoices laws has been recovered. The biggest resources bo...CONTINUE READING