Australia

Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) were “abolished” by the Rudd Labor government in February. However, mining giant BHP has taken advantage of “gaps” in the new laws to sign up 46 new employees to a virtually identical Enterprise Workplace Agreement, according to Steve McCartney, WA president of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).

The Socialist Alliance campaign for Marrickville council is underway, with a ticket of three committed activists nominated for the north ward. The candidates are Pip Hinman, Jill Hickson and Howard Byrnes.

In one of the youngest local government election tickets ever, the Socialist Alliance is standing Laura Ealing, 21, Tom Cameron, 19, and Zane Alcorn, 24, for ward 3 in the upcoming Newcastle council elections.

It’s easy to get confused about forests and climate change. Deforestation and forest degradation contribute to around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, second only to the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy. Climate scientists say that preserving our forests is a quick, easy and cheap way to prevent further global warming.

Victorian TAFE teachers voted on July 18 to take 24-hour strike action on August 20 in support of better pay and conditions after negotiations with the Victorian TAFE Association stalled.

As the Olympic Games opened in Beijing, world leaders have been issuing entreaties to “put politics aside”.

Issy Wyner, one of the early Australian Trotskyists, passed away on August 13, aged 92.

A number of student organisations have responded angrily to the revelation that the National Union of Students (NUS) has reneged on agreements to advocate that the government lower the age of “independence” to 18-years-old immediately.

KATOOMBA — Stepping up its campaign against the state Labor government’s plan to privatise NSW electricity, People Power Blue Mountains held a public meeting on August 9, attended by 75 people.

Mamdouh Habib, who was tortured in Egypt then detained in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay for three-and-a-half years before being released in February 2005 without charge, has faced continal harassment and persecution since his return to Australia.

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