Australia

Around 200 angry residents crowded into Sunshine’s Glengala Community Centre on August 12 for a second meeting on a proposed $9 billion east-west road tunnel to be built in their neighbourhood.
A group of maintenance workers at the National Foods milk processing plant in Chelsea Heights has won a 21% pay rise after having been on strike for three and a half weeks from late July. They will resume work on August 17.
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.
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.
Farmers in Liverpool Plains, south of Tamworth, are taking on BHP Billiton’s drive for black gold.

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