CANBERRA — Thirty people attended a youth forum organised by Resistance and the Young Christian Workers on August 8 to highlight the impact of the Howard government's policies on young people. Speakers from the CFMEU, CPSU, Youth Coalition of the ACT, YCW and Resistance addressed the meeting. Issues discussed included attacks on apprentices and trainees, cuts to education, unemployment, how best to fight back and the past mistakes of the union movement.
Nick Sudakoff of Resistance pointed out, "All options for young people are being shut off. We have to find the ways to unite all sectors in order to fight Howard's attacks."
Keep Telstra Public meeting
SYDNEY — On August 15 at 12.30pm, a lunchtime meeting will be held at Sydney Lower Town Hall to fight the privatisation of Telstra. Support for keeping Telstra public has been waning, and this meeting is the beginning of a campaign to consolidate support behind a public Telstra.
The meeting has been organised by the Keep Telstra Public Alliance, which includes the Communication, Electrical and Plumbers Union; Community and Public Sector Union; Public Service Association; Democratic Socialist Party; Combined Pensioners and Superannuants; Australian Democrats; and other unions and community groups.
Hunger strike victory
SYDNEY — Around 230 supporters of the Turkish and Kurdish hunger strikers who recently ended their 69-day fast in Turkey's jails gathered in Auburn Town Hall on August 4.
A banner proclaiming "Ölüm Orucu Shehitleri Onurumuzdur!" (the martyrs of the hunger strike are our dignity) listed the names of the 12 prisoners who had starved to death.
The mostly Turkish and Kurdish audience were pleased by the achievement of the hunger strikers' demands, but angry that the Turkish government had refused to grant the demands before 11 had died. A robust line-up of speakers was interspersed with Turkish and Kurdish revolutionary poetry, music and songs.
Tas teachers escalate dispute
HOBART — The Australian Education Union escalated industrial action on August 2 in response to the state government's refusal to negotiate over a 6.86% pay claim. Rolling stoppages began on July 8 on the claim, lodged five months before.
Teachers will now strike district by district for half a day every fortnight. Mass meetings of AEU members in each district will be held the morning of each half-day strike. In July, the AEU joined 165 new members, which quadrupled all previous monthly records.