Chanting “Fund the gap or we’ll be back,” more than 200 health workers protested outside Victorian health minister Martin Foley’s office on August 16 to demand the Labor state government restore funding to community mental health services. Services have been severely affected by the state government’s decision to cut $75 million from mental health funding.
Narendra Mohan Kommalapati
A crime wave is sweeping Melbourne caused by “out-of control African gangs”’ if we are to believe Channel 7, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Coalition MPs and even Victorian police minister Lisa Neville, who claimed: “This core group of African youth are causing huge fear.”
After 12 days on strike, workers at Laverton Cold Storage voted on July 6 for their first union workplace agreement.
Emma Kerin from the National Union of Workers told Green Left Weekly that the striking workers had voted unanimously to return to work after endorsing a new EBA that includes significant gains for the workers.
Nearly 80 workers at Laverton Cold Storage in Melbourne’s western suburbs went on strike for the first time on June 25 when negotiations for their first enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) broke down.
The Laverton workers are the lowest paid cold storage workers in Victoria, with a base rate of $20.50 an hour — only 30 cents more than the minimum wage. They work in sub-zero temperatures ranging from -10°C to -35°C. Laverton Cold Storage recently doubled the size of its facility in Truganina, showing it is not short of money.
Concerns over the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of the Hindu nationalist BJP government continuing in power into the indefinite future were partially allayed by the December elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat.
Modi was Gujarat’s longest ruling chief minister and used his “Gujarat model” as the vehicle of his rise to power. This model was based on large-scale handouts of land, public assets and subsidies to corporate houses in return for media hype and enthusiastic endorsement by an increasingly shrill, intolerant and hectoring corporate media.
With the appointment of hardline Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh (UP), the Indian Peoples’ Party (BJP) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown what an extremist force can do when freed of the restraints of coalition partners or parliamentary numbers.
With the death of Dr K. Balagopal at age 52 on October 8, India and in particular his home state of Andhra Pradesh, have lost an untiring worker for human rights. Over almost three decades of activism as a human rights investigator, a public intellectual and 10 years as a lawyer, Balagopal had become synonymous with the human rights movement in India.