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ACT government ACTION bus drivers held a snap strike on September 20 to protest against service cutbacks that would reduce some drivers’ extra shifts and pay. The action was taken following the failure of negotiations with the ACT government’s municipal services department and despite a Transport Workers Union warning that the strike would be illegal and could result in fines of $4000 for each worker.
Workers at the Tronics factory in Thomastown voted to return to work on October 6 after management agreed to an 11.5% pay rise over three years, maintenance of existing conditions and an acceptable disputes-settling procedure. During the preceding three weeks the workers had taken strike action for a total of eight full days and three half days.
The stout, broadly smiling chief editor ushered me into his small office. From the wall, the face of forbidden fruit — stern theoretician, military leader and organiser of the Red Army, “sorcerer” Leon Trotsky — stared defiantly down at me.
A gay rights rally was held at Newcastle University on September 27 as part of gay pride week. The 40 protesters demanded an end to all laws that discriminate against queers, and equality for all regardless of sexuality.
On October 4, student anti-war campaigners were threatened by security guards with being kicked off the University of Technology Sydney campus.
On September 23, the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society and Green Left Weekly held a public screening of Power of Community — How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. Around 90 people attended.
“A strong majority of Iraqis want US-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers”, the September 27 Washington Post reported.
Debts owed by students for university fees are growing by about $2 billion a year, according to the federal education department. Reporting the finding, the September 13 Melbourne Age observed that if the debt rise “continues at this rate, the amount owed will double in six years, from $10.2 billion in 2003-04 to more than $20 billion by 2009-10".
On September 23, Jayme Magana, a young activist in El Salvador’s Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, addressed a community meeting about the oppressive conditions in El Salvador. A short documentary by Salvador Castro about political struggles in the country was also shown.
A group of Aboriginal leaders supported by the West Australian Social Justice Network has initiated a campaign in the wake of what “appears to be an orchestrated attack by the federal government and sections of the media on Aboriginal culture” and leaders.

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