At a “Rally for the River” on August 1, some 2000 people gathered on the steps of state parliament to voice concerns about the plight of the Murray River’s Lower Lakes and the lack of action by state and federal politicians to address the crisis.
The fight to keep NSW electricity in public hands must and can be won. If Premier Morris Iemma and treasurer Michael Costa get away with their plan to sell off the state’s electricity generation capacity and its retail arms, working people and the community will get a dearer, less reliable service, and the chances of the state moving to a sustainable energy policy will be reduced to zero.
The campaign to throw out all charges against Palm Island Aboriginal leader Lex Wotton is gaining momentum. The Indigenous Social Justice Association, Melbourne (ISJA) is organising a Victorian speaking tour with him from August 6-10.
The export of coal is an important issue for climate campaigners to consider. Australia exports more carbon dioxide in the form of coal than its entire domestic emissions of the gas.
Two radical events marked July 26, the date in 1953 when Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada Barracks that failed militarily, but inspired the ultimately successful Cuban Revolution.
The Australian Workers Union has many members in the aluminium refining and smelting industry, which accounted for 45.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 (7.9% of Australias total). Obviously, such a major greenhouse polluter the dirtiest for every dollar of value added has to be radically restructured if carbon emissions are to be cut to sustainable levels.
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 Kints 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 Woodsides 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.
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.
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).