Yet again, the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (a federal government body set up to attack unions in the building industry) has launched legal action in the Federal Court against the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU). The inspectorate said on September 12 that CFMEU organiser Theo Theodorou was alleged to have told the director of a demolition company wishing to work at a Carlton building site that: “as [the demolition company] is working in the city, it needs to obtain an enterprise agreement with the CFMEU for its employees”.
Christianity, Islam and Atheism: reflections on Religion, Society and Politics By Micheal Cooke Resistance Books 2014 124 pages, paperback, $15 For a time I stopped referring to myself as an atheist in public. I was intensely embarrassed by seeing ads on buses promoting atheism around the time of the World Atheist Conference in Melbourne. For a while I simply became “not religious” for public purposes. I found it embarrassing because public evangelism is the one thing that particularly galls me about religion.
A meeting of about 200 union delegates and activists, organised by Unions NSW on September 17, unanimously supported a call for statewide action against the federal budget to defend jobs, workers’ rights and services. Unionists concerned that Unions NSW was failing to lead a campaign against the budget attacks drafted the motion, which was moved from the floor. Initially, Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon told the group there would not be time to move the motion. However, just before the meeting closed the motion was put to the vote and unanimously supported.
It appears that the much-talked up budget crisis has disappeared because Tony Abbott’s government is spending big on war. The Coalition government has quickly allocated half a billion dollars a year to join the new war on Iraq by another US-led “coalition of the willing”, or — if we call it what it is — a “coalition for the killing”. The ABC's 7.30 program said on September 15 that the Australian government has "invested a billion dollars buying into a state-of-the-art military satellite system".
Laila Harre, the leader of the newly formed Internet Party, told a September 16 stop-work meeting in west Auckland organised by the FIRST and Unite unions, that state spying was not due to concerns about terrorism, but to target people who “organise for change”.
John Minto is a veteran New Zealand activist who became known as a leader of a powerful anti-apartheid campaign in the 1970s. More recently, he was part of organising some of the largest pro-Palestine demonstrations ever in New Zealand.
Activists demonstrated outside global big brand fashion outlets in the centre of Sydney's central shopping district on September 17 to demand that these companies pay the workers who make their products (in countries like Cambodia) living wages and respect their right to organise. Other solidarity actions in Australia were held in Canberra and Melbourne.
It is a story that will be familiar to many residents of the Sydney suburb Millers Point: a suburb with long-standing public housing that provides affordable accommodation to low-income residents is at the centre government attempts, at the behest of property developers, to remove public housing tenants and free up land that just happens to feature prime water-side views.
Immediately after the September 15 “Moment of Truth” public meeting — in which NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed John Key’s National Party government complicity in the wholesale, and illegal, surveillance of New Zealanders — Internet MANA candidate in the September 20 elections, Joe Carolan, spoke to Green Left on the meeting’s significance.
Auckland Town Hall was packed to overflowing on September 15, with almost 2000 people. They heard US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden present new evidence that the New Zealand government has been collaborating with US authorities to carry out wholesale surveillance and data collection on NZ citizens.