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Action updates

US domination discussed

CANBERRA — Alastair Grieg, a Socialist Alliance member and lecturer at the Australian National University, outlined the main aims and "sorrows" of US imperialism at a public meeting held here on October 16.

He explained that while US foreign policy is directed to maintaining and extending its global economic and political domination, its side-effects also create conditions that undermine US imperialism.

Paid maternity leave won

BRISBANE — Brisbane City Council employees have won 14 weeks' paid maternity leave under a new enterprise bargaining agreement finalised on October 24, the Australian Services Union has announced.

ASU branch secretary Julie Bignell said the new provisions would be phased in over three years and represented a significant step towards a more family friendly work environment. Bignell said eligible employees would also be entitled to up to 28 weeks of maternity leave on half pay.

Other gains under the agreement include: a pay increase of 3.9% backdated to July 1 and a further increase of 3.9% on July 1, 2004; no forced redundancies and restrictions on the use of outsourced labour; improved career development and advancement opportunities; and two weeks of paid paternity leave.

'Make it here or jobs disappear' rally

PERTH — Four-thousand trade unionists rallied here on October 24 under the banner of "Make it here or jobs disappear". The rally was organised by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).

Contingents from the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA),

the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU), and the Community

and Public Sector Union CSA joined the protest.

Speakers included AMWU state secretary Jock Ferguson, AMWU national secretary Doug Cameron, MUA state secretary Chris Cain, CFMEU construction division assistant state secretary Joe McDonald, ACTU secretary Greg Combet, CEPU construction organiser Les MacLaughan and UnionsWA secretary Stephanie Mayman.

From Green Left Weekly, October 29, 2003.
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