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 Tintos 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 unions 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.
As Hollywood enters its award season, the 12,000 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) continue their strike that has shut down the majority of the US film and television industry since November 5. The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has also begun to renegotiate its contract.
On February 15, PM John Howard’s government announced that it had agreed to the construction of a new US spy-satellite ground station at the Kojarena intelligence base 30 kilometres east of Geraldton. The new facility will transmit data to and from two US geostationary spy satellites focused on the Middle East and Asia.
Among the proposals included in the Australian Council of Trade Unions industrial relations legislation policy, adopted at its October conference, were provisions for unions to be able to hold elections to win recognition in workplaces where the boss refuses to bargain with them. These ballots are aimed at addressing the lack of a mechanism whereby unions can make an employer negotiate a collective agreement for workers. Such ballots have been a feature of the US industrial relations system for over 70 years.
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