On the campaign trail with the Victorian Socialists

Jerome Small “Jeez, you’re up early!” Perhaps he could tell I’ve never been much of a morning person, despite two decades of early starts in construction. Or perhaps candidates for parliament rarely get to Craigieburn station to leaflet passengers scrambling onto the 5:43am to the city. This train land...CONTINUE READING

Will Labor change the rules?

Jerome Small Workers’ wages in Australia have stagnated or gone backwards for half a decade, while the super rich have been helping themselves – with both hands. According to the Australian Financial Review’s annual survey, the richest 200 people in the country increased their total wealth from $176.8...CONTINUE READING

Taking it to the next level against Kennett: a chat with Stephen Jolly

Jerome Small “We were just stumbling across struggles everywhere. You’d be walking through the city centre and there’d be some minor rally, then there’d be some big rally and then there were occupations taking place. The Age on the day after the big rally quoted Lenin and said this was like Petrograd i...CONTINUE READING

Vicious anti-union law on hold – for now

Jerome Small It was predictable that a renewed attack on our unions would be high on the agenda for incoming prime minister Scott Morrison. For a party that can’t agree on how to supply electricity to the country – or on their own leadership – an attack on workers’ organisations can be an important uni...CONTINUE READING

Worker killed on Melbourne construction site

Jerome Small On the afternoon of Thursday 6 September, a construction site crane in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure. A giant steel kibble full of concrete plummeted down without warning on three workers. One is dead. Another is in hospital, while the third re...CONTINUE READING

Workers shut down money factory

Jerome Small Workers at Note Printing Australia shovel out more than $3 million in currency every hour, but they can’t get a decent pay rise. So on Friday 10 August, workers at the company’s Craigieburn factory, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, walked off the job to support their wage claim of 3.5...CONTINUE READING

A win at Laverton Cold Storage

Jerome Small Workers at Laverton Cold Storage in Melbourne’s west are celebrating a win after a 12-day strike backed by a solid picket. Their new enterprise agreement includes union representation, induction rights and an immediate wage rise of more than $1 an hour (part of an 18 percent increase over...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

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