Australia

Actions by construction giant John Holland have led to 40 workers being sacked from the Melbourne Westgate Reconstruction project because they did not accept an agreement that would mean they earned less than the standard industry rate.

Across university campuses, students are organising in support of Palestine. A big focus will be Palestine Solidarity Week, an international week of action beginning on March 30.

More than 4000 signatures on a petition in support of Gaza were handed over to ALP federal MP Julia Irwin outside her Cecil Hills office on March 7. They were collected over the last two months. Irwin has pledged to table the petition in parliament.

"Democracy, yes! Dictatorship, no!", chanted protesters outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney on March 4, where visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was staying. The protest was organised by the Korean Resource Centre.

Commonwealth prosecutors have dropped nine of the charges against three Tamil men, Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sivarajah Yathavan and Arumugam Rajeevan.

Sacked shop steward and OH&S representative Joe Angelino has been re-employed, ending a two-week standoff between the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Energy Union and his employer, Caelli Constructions, at the construction site for the new children's hospital in Parkville.

Greens councillor Linda Eisler moved a motion titled Support for Palestinian Territories at a Canterbury council meeting on February 26.

In the face of the Rudd government’s refusal to confirm whether federally-funded maternity leave will be included in the upcoming May budget, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has retreated from its previous stance calling for immediate implementation.

National accounts figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on March 4, showed that the Australian economy contracted by 0.5% in the three months to December, despite the federal government’s $10.6 billion stimulus package, which was paid out to pensioners and families before Christmas.

The militant actions of the South African dock workers who refused to offload goods from Israeli ships during the Gaza massacre was an important boost for the international solidarity movement.

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