The community assembly outside the Hutchison terminal at Port Botany is holding firm against a threat by the NSW Port Authority to evict the gathering from the entrance to the facility. There was a similar stand-off at Fishermans Island, Port of Brisbane. The assemblies have been maintained for more than four weeks to protest against the sacking of 97 waterside workers by the giant Hutchison company, part of the biggest multinational stevedoring corporation in the world.
“To change everything, we need everyone.” That is the slogan of the People’s Climate March being held globally on the weekend of November 27-29. The rallies will coincide with the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris and will demand a transition to a safe climate that ensures jobs and social justice. But the rallies are not just about appealing to politicians to make a strong agreement in Paris — there is very little chance of that happening.
Staff at the federal Department of Human Services (DHS) started voting on a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) on September 4. The public service union strongly recommended a No vote. The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has been campaigning hard against new departmental EBA offers that cut wages and conditions. About 34,000 workers at DHS are set to vote down a management proposal that reflects the Abbott government's hard line against workers and unions in its own workforce, as a test case for wage and conditions cuts throughout all sectors of the economy.
ADELAIDE Join us at the Green Left Quiz Night. A fun evening with great prizes supporting the newspaper. Friday September 18 at 6pm. Entry $15/10 conc. City Soul, 13 Hutt St, city. Bookings ph Gemma 0437 714 786. BRISBANE Come to a book Launch: Women of Steel: the story of the struggle by women for jobs in the steel industry in Wollongong in the 1980s. Special guests co-author Carla Gorton and Ros McLennan, secretary, Queensland Council of Unions. Thursday September 17 at 5pm. QCU, Peel St, South Brisbane. Visit jobsforwomenfilm.com.
Over the past two weeks the Victorian Labor government has ramped up its hostile rhetoric towards rail and tram workers fighting to defend their rights. This culminated in joint legal action taken in the Fair Work Commission with rail boss Metro Trains against the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) in a bid to stop railway workers from taking strike action on September 4. It failed to stop the strike going ahead.
Combating institutionalised violence and misogyny, a talk by Mehreen Faruqi Mehreen Faruqi presented this talk at the Fighting Misogyny and Sexism Today seminar hosted by Socialist Alliance and Resistance in Sydney on August 8. Mehreen Faruqi is a Greens MLC. Tony Abbott's Greatest Achievements — Episode1: He's One of a Kind
The Canning byelection is attracting national attention as the possibility that the Liberals may lose the seat they hold by a 12% margin is openly discussed. A loss would be a severe blow to the Coalition government — already reeling from controversies ranging from the Border Farce stunt in Melbourne to the choppergate scandal — as well as to the leadership of Tony Abbott.
Rojava, the Kurdish-majority liberated zone in northern Syria, is the location of a unique experiment in grassroots, participatory democracy. It is undergoing a profound social revolution that emphasises social and economic equality, ecology, religious tolerance, ethnic inclusion, collectivity combined with individual freedom and, most obviously, feminism.
Hundreds of people from across NSW gathered outside AGL's HQ on September 2 to mark the 100th week of a protest first initiated by Camden residents angry that AGL is allowed to frack near their homes. AGL first started fracking in Camden, south west Sydney, in 2001. Speakers included Jennifer Schoelpple; Anne Thompson, an original Knitting Nanna from the Northern Rivers; Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham; and Julie Lyford, president of Groundswell Gloucester.
30,000 people marched in Vienna on August 31 to demonstrate against inhumane treatment of refugees. In less than a fortnight a series of tragedies took place on the borders of Europe, spurring a continent-wide debate over refugee policy. On August 26, about 200 refugees perished at sea as their ship capsized off the coast of Libya on its way to Italy.
The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on September 1. A 25 year-old Burmese asylum seeker attempted suicide at Manus Island on August 31. The emergency unfolded over almost four hours as the man climbed onto the roof of Delta Compound around 3pm and made attempts to hang himself using bed sheets and electrical cable, before making a final attempt to jump just before 7pm. More than 50 Transfield and IHMS medical personnel were mobilised during the emergency.
The University of Wollongong has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the immigration department to provide training for Border Force officers in maritime border security. Under the terms of the MoU, the University’s Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) will train Border Force officers in maritime enforcement, civil maritime security policy development, research and regional capacity building.
Whatever else he might be, John Dyson Heydon is no fool. When he accepted the job of royal commissioner inquiring into trade union governance and corruption, he knew what was expected of him. The commission was set up as a political witch-hunt into unions, designed to give the federal Coalition government an issue with which it thought it could win the next election. Heydon was happy to oblige and has been handsomely paid for doing so.
From 1954 to 1972, Australia’s official unemployment rate was under 2% as the economy grew at the most rapid rate in the country’s history. There was one exception, the credit squeeze year of 1961, in which unemployment rose to 2.4%.
Visiting Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein believes she owes PM Tony Abbott “a debt of thanks”. In Sydney to promote her new book
Capitalism versus the Climate: This Changes Everything, Klein said the conflict between what the planet needs and what capitalism needs is exemplified in Australia.
Newcastle City Council voted on August 26 to join the global push to divest from fossil fuel. This follows the ACT’s announcement that it would become the first Australian government to divest from fossil fuels and aim to have 100% renewable energy by 2025. With a total investment portfolio of $280 million, Newcastle council has also told Australia’s big four banks they need to divest portfolios of assets that include coal and oil.