Chris Latham

Frances’s eight major union federations held demonstrations across the country on May 1 — the international workers’ day. It was the third jointly organised day of mass workers demonstrations this year.
Since the global economic crisis began, there has been a sharp fall in global demand for steel, resulting in more competition between steel makers.
On March 31, Western Australian treasurer Troy Buswell announced a cap on wage rises for public sector workers.
On March 19, more than 3 million people joined in the second day of strikes and mass demonstrations called by France’s eight main union federations so far this year.
Irish unions are threatening to escalate protests against proposals that would result in workers bearing the burden of paying for overcoming the financial crisis that has hammered the Irish economy while protecting business profits.
Angry workers at the Waterford Wedgewood’s crystal factory in Kilbarry, Ireland have begun an occupation of the factory, following the announcement on January 30 that the factory would be closed.
In the last month, Australian mine workers and mining communities have been rocked by layoffs and mine closures as mining companies have moved to reduce production in response to collapsing commodities prices.
On November 17, the Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU) announced that it would be holding an advisory ballot of members in California to determine the future of the United Healthcare Workers–West (UHW-W), which with 150,000 members is the SEIU’s third largest local.
Machinists, represented by the Industrial Association of Machinists (IAM), at Boeing plants in the US voted on November 1 to end a 57-day strike and accept a new contract offer.
Train drivers working in Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron ore division escalated their campaign for a union collective agreement by holding two consecutive 12-hour stoppages starting at midday on October 22.
Train drivers employed by Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore operations in transporting iron ore in the Pilbara struck on October 11 and will stage a 24-hour stoppage on October 22 .
On August 7, the Western Australian ALP government called an early election for September 6.
On June 30, the collective agreements covering actors in the US television industry expired.
Union members and labour activists attending the Labor Notes conference dinner on April 12 were attacked by bus loads of staff and members of the Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU) — wearing purple SEIU t-shirts — who forced their way into the conference venue in Dearborn, Michigan. In the ensuing melee a number of people were injured.
On February 28, thousands of members of State School Teachers Union of the Western Australia (SSTUWA) defied an order by the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to attend stop-work meetings. The meetings were part of the union’s campaign to win a new public schools enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
After starting contract negotiations on January 12, the Directors’ Guild of America reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on January 17. It was expected that the DGA and AMPTP would come to an agreement, but the swiftness of the deal was a surprise, especially because there were six months remaining on the existing contract.

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