I declare a personal interest in this story. In 1976, I worked for a year in a James Hardie factory in Western Australia. We were producing asbestos cement sheets; at that time still a popular building material.
Twenty-first century capitalism has sentenced millions of workers to near slavery in the form of various migrant labour schemes that underpin the mega profits of many giant corporations. From Singapore to Dubai to the US, such schemes spell super-exploitation. So would a guest worker scheme in Australia be much less exploitative?
On June 5, I joined a suburban World Environment Day campaigning stall organised by Resistance, a socialist youth group in Australia.
They must think we are all idiots, said an exasperated Friend of Green Left last week in response to the parliamentary debate about rising petrol prices.
A pile of bags and clothing on an old shopfront verandah on Cuff Road in Singapores Little India is home to a group of about 50 migrant workers who have been spat out by an economy that relies heavily on so-called guest workers.
“Macquarie Bank bosses’ pay cut after profit cut warning”, was the headline of an article by Michael Sainsbury and Katherine Jimenez, in the May 21 Australian.
“Two things keep me sane”, wrote in a Green Left Weekly subscriber with her payment for renewal, “Green Left Weekly and Radio National”. She is just one of a large number of loyal readers and supporters of this important project for change.
How many minutes to midnight, do you reckon it is?, asked a Green Left Weekly buyer at a street stall last week.
The first new subscription to come in on May 1 was from Graeme, from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, who had read about the Climate Change Social Change conference on the internet. He took out a one-year subscription to Green Left Weekly and sent us this note of appreciation: