Australia

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.

Remember the “wealth effect”? Rapidly rising housing and share prices made people feel wealthy and so they borrowed big-time and became big-time spenders, and this supposedly makes for an endless economic boom. Just about every capitalist economist was singing from that cheery song sheet — until recently.

SYDNEY — A speakout and concert is being organised for August 16 to unite campaigns for Aboriginal rights in Australia.

Refugee activists have welcomed the July 29 announcement by federal immigration minister Chris Evans to significantly dismantle Australia’s policy of mandatorily detaining refugees. They noted, however, that while the changes represent an important victory for the movement for refugee rights, the struggle is not yet over.

The Reverend Helen Elizabeth Cox died on July 15 after a short illness in hospital in Melbourne. A service was held on July 21 at Doncaster East Uniting Church, and was attended by her extended family, friends and the many people touched by her ministries.

Former PM John Howard’s blandly named Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) remains under PM Kevin Rudd. It is prosecuting Victorian vice-president of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), Noel Washington, who faces six months’ jail for not answering questions about a union meeting.

Howes doesn't speak for me

I am an Australian Workers Union member and totally disagree with Howes' article "Give workers a voice in climate change solutions" in the July 24 Age, where he advocates free emissions trading permits for individual

Millions of Australian workers have faced the worst losses in their superannuation since 1992. Super funds have shown losses of on average 6.4% for the last financial year, with some showing losses as high as 15%, putting workers’ retirement funds in jeopardy.

The truck drivers’ national transport shutdown came to an end on July 30, with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) failing to endorse the action and calling on frustrated drivers to instead lobby the federal government.

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