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While the Western corporate media was swooning over the tour of army duty in war-torn Afghanistan by Prince Harry, the third in line to the British crown, scant coverage was given to US national intelligence director Vice-Admiral Mike McConnell’s admission that the situation facing the US and its NATO allies in Afghanistan is “deteriorating”, despite a doubling of their occupation forces since 2004.
Fourteen divers at the Sydney desalination plant being built at Port Botany went on strike this week over safety concerns and demanding a union collective agreement walking off the job on Monday March 3. They are employed by Construction Diving Services (whose parent company is Dempsey Industries).
In the most recent edition of Green Left Weekly (GLW #742, links to all contributions in debate so far are below), well-known progressive anti-imperialist activist, Professor Stephen Zunes, has proclaimed that I am a liar.
Contrary to federal government rhetoric, research conducted into the new Labor government’s Forward with Fairness transitional bill has revealed that Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs — individual contracts), or their replacement clones, the Interim Transitional Employment Agreements (ITEAs), could continue well beyond 2010.
Mothers Against Genetic Engineering (MAdGE) and the Gene Ethics Network launched a campaign on February 28 for local councils in Victoria to declare themselves genetically manipulated (GM) food-free zones. The campaign, launched at a protest rally on the steps of the state parliament, is in response to the Premier John Brumby’s decision to end Victoria’s ban on GM canola on February 29.
Poverty is a dominant feature of life for many university students. Statistics from Melbourne University show that living expenses (excluding course fees) for a student in share accommodation amount annually to around $25,000. Most students must work at least one job to supplement the meagre government-provided youth allowance, which, if paid at the maximum rate of $425 per fortnight, amounts to just $11,050 per annum.
The recent collapse in ABC Learning Centres’ share price generated a media frenzy. Director Eddy Groves was reputed to have lost $45 million in just two hours of trading. For a time it looked like many centres would close their doors.
SYDNEY — The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) organised a community rally outside the Sombreros Mexican restaurant in the beachside suburb of Cronulla on March 7. The rally was to protest the sacking of chef Basilo Reyes for taking time off to have a cancer removed.
Well, so much for our new government taking an even-handed position on Israel/Palestine.
Up to 1000 people marched in Sydney on March 8 to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day. Many trade unions were represented as well as community and migrant groups, with some women coming from as far as Nowra on the NSW south coast to mark 100 years of women’s struggles.
Journalist and documentary filmmaker spoke at a public forum on March 7. Attended by 200 people, the forum was hosted by Pilger’s high-school friend, actor Jack Thompson, at his pub in the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba
“We’re approaching the future with some confidence notwithstanding the obstacles that are put in our path by institutions like the ABCC [Australian Building and Construction Commission]”, Dave Noonan, national secretary of the construction division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union told Green Left Weekly. Noonan spoke to GLW after the CFMEU national conference, held in Sydney from February 18-22.