Jim McIlroy

The WestConnex privatisation “involves arguably the biggest misuse of public funds for corporate gain in Australian history”, Sydney University transport analyst Chris Standen wrote on September 3.

Standen was commenting on the August 31 announcement by the New South Wales Coalition government that it was selling off 51% of the controversial WestConnex tollway complex to a Transurban-led consortium for $9.3 billion.

Up to 5000 unionists marched through Sydney’s CBD on September 6 to demand the right to strike and the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

A study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on labour relations in 26 developed economies, including Australia, has confirmed that workers’ real wages have fallen because labour market deregulation has “gone too far”.

The IMF researchers noted the “statistically significant, economically large and robust negative effect of deregulation” on labour’s share of national income, with workers’ share of national income falling drastically from 1975 to 2015.

“Wage theft is rife in the food delivery industry,” Transport Workers Union (TWU) spokesperson Tony Sheldon told a rally of delivery riders and unionists on August 29 organised by the union and On-Demand Workers Australia.

The action demanded that the federal government puts in place a safety net to ensure riders from all companies are guaranteed minimum wage and entitlements.

“We owe it to future generations to do our best to halt this disastrous project,” Greens MLA for Newtown Jenny Leong told an August 22 public meeting about the controversial $17 billion WestConnex tollway project.

According to Monash University professor Chris Nash, who also addressed the meeting, "It is not too late to stop this project".

Amid the chaos of #libspill, the Coalition government's signature plan to cut the big business tax rate from 30 to 25% for companies with turnover above $50 million was blocked in the Senate on August 22. The vote was 36 to 30.

The housing crisis could be overcome through a “new system of universally accessible housing, with rents based on ability to pay”, according to Action for Public Housing. The problem, they say, is that “the housing needs of our people come second to profit and greed” for the NSW Coalition government.

Activists took to the streets against new anti-protest laws which could make it illegal to try and stop government-inspired destruction.

The Finance Sector Union has slammed a plan to "embed" financial regulatory agency officers inside the Big Four banks and the financial management giant AMP. The FSU says that officers from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which has been criticised for being “too close to the banks”, would be unable to penetrate the unethical internal culture of the banks.

Corporate CEO salaries have hit record high levels over the past year, according to the latest CEO pay report from the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). The report shows that pay for company bosses has reached its highest level for 17 years thanks to "persistent and increasing bonus payments".

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