739

The following is the second part of an interview between John Parker, secretary of Gippsland Trades and Labour Council, and Green Left Weekly’s Zane Alcorn. The first part was published in GLW #737.
Around 200 union leaders from around Australia attended a trade union leadership forum organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) in Canberra from January 30 to February 1. Many had a lot on their minds. First and foremost, many wondered how the Rudd Labor government’s new industrial relations systems would shape up and what the union movement will have to do to make sure it benefits workers? Unfortunately most walked away after three days asking themselves the same questions they arrived with.
In 2001, newly-elected US President George Bush made international headlines when he announced changes to how international aid organisations were to be funded with US money. Known as the “Global Gag Rule”, aid organisations were informed that, in order to continue receiving US government funding, they could no longer provide any information about abortion to their clients.
On May 9, 2007 NSW Premier Morris Iemma announced that he had appointed Anthony Owen, Australia’s first professor of energy economics, to report on NSW’s future needs in electricity generation capacity.
A new report published by Friends of the Earth (FoE), Climate Code Red: The case for a sustainability emergency, warns that human-induced climate change is dangerously impacting on the planet and its people, and calls on the Rudd government to take real action to avert disaster from global warming.
The president of the Venezuela’s National Assembly’s Energy and Mines Committee, Angel Rodriguez, rejected the illegal judicial decision on behalf of British, US and Dutch courts, of freezing the Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) assets in their countries, as part of a lawsuit brought by the US Exxon Mobil, due to the nationalisation of the Orinoco Belt, which took place last May.
On February 2, 150 people rallied in support of same-sex civil unions in the Australian Capital Territory, demanding the restoration of the original version of the ACT civil unions act, which included the right to hold an official ceremony and the right for non-ACT residents to obtain a civil union certificate.
Medical scientists employed in Victoria’s public hospitals began industrial action for a new wages deal with a 24-hour strike at hospitals in Melbourne’s Southern Health region on February 5.
Plans are under way around the country for anti-war protests on March 16 — the fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. This year the anniversary rallies coincide with Palm Sunday, a traditional day of peace movement mobilisation in Australia.
“Forty years ago, the Tet offensive — the decisive battle of the Vietnam War — took place, changing the course of the war, and beginning the long retreat of the US military which eventually led to the victory of the Vietnamese revolutionary national-liberation forces with the fall of Saigon in April 1975", Jim McIlroy said at a public forum inBrisbane on January 31, one of a series sponsored by Green Left Weekly.

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