MELBOURNE — While the Victorian Trades Hall Council executive has decided to campaign for Labor in the coming state election, spending about $50,000 and appointing a full-time campaign coordinator, left-wing union officials from the "Pledge" group and public service unions decided at a meeting on August 5 to adopt a different tack. Their support will go to progressive independents and smaller parties which oppose privatisation and the attacks on jobs and union rights as well as to "left" Labor candidates. The VTHC executive also decided to organise another anti-privatisation rally in September.
- The State Public Service Federation has won agreement from the Kirner government to move its members to a federal award. The matter is yet to be considered by the Victorian Industrial Relations Commission, but other public sector unions look set to follow the example.
- The Liquor Trades Union has extensively leafleted railway stations with a call for a rally and march on August 10 in defence of penalty rates in the hospitality industry. Employers are applying in the Victorian Industrial Relations Commission for the elimination weekend and evening penalty rates, the reduction of casual loading, the end of part-time loading and the abolition of superannuation for non-full-time workers under the age of 18. Forty per cent of hotel workers work less than three days a week plus Saturday and Sunday, and 25% work after 7 p.m.