741

On February 1 the Bolivian government introduced its “dignity pension” — a pension payment for those over 60 years-old that is a first of its kind in Bolivia.
In recent weeks, external and internal pressure against Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, as the process of change led by socialist President Hugo Chavez is known, has intensified dramatically.
More than 500 Fire Brigade Employee Union members turned out for a mass meeting on February 22 to discuss the progress of their campaign for a decent wage increase. Five hundred on-duty members voted by fax. The NSW government’s offer of a 4% pay rise with loss of conditions was rejected by a vote of 1025 to two, with 25 abstentions. A further motion endorsing the union’s log of claims including a wage rise of between $218 and $354 over three years was approved by a similar margin.
Parliamentarians are grossly overpaid. A backbencher gets paid more than twice median income, and that’s before adding allowances, generous superannuation, free air travel for life, etc. The PM gets double that: $330,356 (before expenses and perks). Last year, and the year before, the pollies awarded themselves a 7% pay rise while average wages rose 3.8%, putting the recently announced parliamentarians’ one-year salary freeze into perspective.
Western Australian public sector agencies will be closed by rolling stoppages if the state Labor government fails to deliver a significantly improved pay offer before the expiry of the current collective agreement on February 25.
A report released on February 18 in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found massive deficiencies in Aboriginal housing in Australia, and located this as a key cause of Aboriginal disadvantage and poor health. The study was conducted over seven years and looked at over 4000 residences in 132 Aboriginal communities.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) is holding a series of forums across the country to get feedback from delegates about the direction that the union is taking. The first was held in Melbourne on February 19, attracting more than 300 delegates from the metals, print, food and T&S divisions from across Victoria.
Federal opposition IR spokesperson, Julie Bishop, formally announced that the Coalition had dropped its opposition to the Labor government’s plan to “abolish” Australian Workplace Agreements (individual contracts) on February 19.
Barwon 13 The release of David Hicks after conviction on a pretty minor charge, and the spectacular collapse of the case against Dr Haneef both suggested that the "anti-terror" laws might not be used so enthusiastically by the government in
Nine-hundred-and-thirty manufacturing workers will soon be out of a job, after management announced the pending closure of the Tonsley Park Mitsubishi car plant in Adelaide’s southern suburbs on February 6.
It is tragic but understandable that South African society ranks — with the United States and China — at the bottom of a recent worldwide climate-consciousness survey by polling firm Global Scan: only 45% of us believe global warming is a “serious problem”.
Britain’s ministry of defence (MoD) has objected to proposals for new wind farms on the basis that wind turbines interfere with its radar equipment.