747

“The union movement can fight back and grow overall in the next period”, Tim Gooden, secretary of the Geelong Trades Hall Council, told Green Left Weekly on April 18. He was responding to reports in the mainstream press highlighting figures indicating a further fall in national union membership last year.
Clothing and sexism Anne Horan (Write On, GLW #746) writes that in feminist circles it's a no-no to discuss what women wear and that feminists do not criticise women themselves for wearing skimpy clothing. She states that the argument that
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian al Nakba (the Catastrophe) — the razing of up to 418 Palestinian villages and the driving of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes by Zionist forces to create the State of Israel.
“Clashes with Shiite militiamen flared in two cities Wednesday as a US drone fired two missiles in Basra and US-backed Iraqi troops battled in Baghdad’s sprawling Sadr City slum”, Associated Press reported on April 16.
The detail of the federal Labor government’s plan for its new industrial relations system, to come into force in January 2010, is beginning to come to light. On April 9, the Australian Financial Review reported that it had obtained a copy of a letter sent by workplace relations minister Julia Gillard to a range of unions and businesses. It canvassed their opinion on issues including the scope of allowable content in workplace agreements, the scope of individual “flexibility” clauses to be mandatory in all awards and enterprise agreements and regulation of industrial action during a bargaining period for a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
Black Soldier Blues — Black GIs from the US during WWII were initially turned away from Australia due to the racist White Australia Policy. SBS, Friday, April 25, 12.55am. True Stories — Looks at an exhibition of Aboriginal art from the East
On April 3 Fremantle wharfies stopped work for two hours to commemorate the 1998 Patricks dispute and thank all those who generously and courageously supported the Maritime Union of Australia. Nearly 1500 MUA members and other members of the community marched through the streets of Fremantle. In other ports the anniversary was marked with a one-minute stop work on April 7.
The government of Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had the first of a series of meetings on April 15 with the leaders of the agricultural sector.
Teachers around the country are in protracted disputes over wages and conditions with their ALP government bosses. Federal education minister Julia Gillard has come out in opposition to teachers’ unions’ proposal to place bans on administrating national literacy and numeracy testing in pursuit of claims for real wage increases and to demand an improvement of working conditions.
NASA’s chief climate scientist, Dr James Hansen, wrote an open letter to Kevin Rudd on March 27 urging him to halt the construction of new coal-fired power stations. He also demanded that Rudd implement the Garnaut report’s recommendations.
ACT police have been given enhanced stop-and-search powers for dealing with protests planned for the Canberra leg of the global Olympic torch relay on April 24. This comes as protests by the Tibetan diaspora and their supporters have turned the torch’s world tour into a public relations disaster for the Beijing Olympics.
For Mel Barnes of the Tasmania-based group Students Against the Pulp Mill (SAPM) and Resistance, “young people have the authority to decide our future”, and they can inspire others to take action. Barnes was speaking at the Climate Change — Social Change Conference in Sydney, April 11-13, on a panel with other young environment activists.
As the British parliament is discussing proposals to extend its “anti-terrorism” laws even further, existing anti-terrorism laws have been used to conduct surveillance on a family wrongly suspected of lying on a school application form.
More than 300 people took part in three days of invigorating discussion at the Climate Change — Social change conference on April 11-13 hosted by Green Left Weekly.
Denouncing the “coloniser attitude” and “barbarous exploitation” of workers by the management of the Sidor steel company, Venezuelan Vice President Ramon Carrizalez announced at 1.30am on April 9 that President Hugo Chavez had decided to nationalise the company.
“Now, to producing Venezuelan steel at the service of the revolution and socialism!”, proclaimed Jose Melendez, referring to the victory obtained after 15 months of struggle at the steel factory Sidor, located in the heartland of Venezuela’s basic industry in Guayana.

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