Australia

At a “Rally for the River” on August 1, some 2000 people gathered on the steps of state parliament to voice concerns about the plight of the Murray River’s Lower Lakes and the lack of action by state and federal politicians to address the crisis.
The export of coal is an important issue for climate campaigners to consider. Australia exports more carbon dioxide in the form of coal than its entire domestic emissions of the gas.
The campaign to throw out all charges against Palm Island Aboriginal leader Lex Wotton is gaining momentum. The Indigenous Social Justice Association, Melbourne (ISJA) is organising a Victorian speaking tour with him from August 6-10.
The Australian Workers Union has many members in the aluminium refining and smelting industry, which accounted for 45.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 (7.9% of Australia’s total). Obviously, such a major greenhouse polluter — the dirtiest for every dollar of value added — has to be radically restructured if carbon emissions are to be cut to sustainable levels.
Two radical events marked July 26, the date in 1953 when Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada Barracks that failed militarily, but inspired the ultimately successful Cuban Revolution.
A survey of unionists in the heart of Australia’s coal regions shows strong sentiment for action to stop climate change. The poll, commissioned by the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU), surveyed 400 AMWU members in the Bowen Basin, Gippsland, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.
More than 100 workers and union solidarity activists closed down the Yarraville CSR construction site on July 25. They were protesting against construction manager John Kint’s threat to dock the pay of any worker who talked to a union official. Kint is notorious for his anti-union stance. He was responsible for sacking a workers’ representative at Woodside’s Otways gas plant in Port Campbell in 2007, which led to months of industrial unrest. There will be a community meeting in Yarraville to discuss the CSR dispute. For more information, visit http://www.unionsolidarity.org.
An estimated 1500 shop stewards and union delegates met at Dallas Brookes Hall on July 30 to discuss the campaign against the charging of Noel Washington, the construction worker facing a jail term for refusing to hand over information to the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The meeting also discussed the ongoing Your Rights at Work campaign. It was called by the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC).
If you only read the mainstream media, you would think that Venezuela is run by a dictator who suppresses democracy and violates human rights. But the opposite is true.
In Australia today, paid maternity leave is still not adequate, women still do not have equal pay for equal work, and many women, particularly young women, are experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination almost 25 years after the anti-discrimination laws were created.

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