Australia

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.

Farmers in Liverpool Plains, south of Tamworth, are taking on BHP Billiton’s drive for black gold.

A 150-strong community meeting on July 29 called on the NSW government to urgently re-open the region’s only maternity unit, at Blue Mountains Hospital in Katoomba.

Twenty people discussed the possibilities and challenges for Cuba, socialism and the environment following a screening of the documentary Power of Community — How Cuba Survived Peak Oil at Gecko House in Currumbin on July 27.

WOLLONGONG — More than 200 workers rallied on July 30 as part of actions across NSW in support of all public sector workers currently negotiating with the NSW government over pay and conditions.

NEWCASTLE — “The worst ALP government is as bad as the best Liberal government”, Kevin Maher, Newcastle and Central Coast secretary of the Australian Workers Union, told a public sector pay rally on July 30. About 60 AWU unionists, as well as members of services, teachers and public service unions, rallied outside the office of MP for the Hunter and NSW treasurer Michael Costa.

Less than a fortnight after the release of the Rudd government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme green paper, the potential losers are howling at the spectre of lost profits while the potential winners - global investment banks, hedge funds and commodities traders - are rubbing their hands at the thought of making millions from the permits to pollute that the scheme will create.

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