A landmark legal case has begun against mining corporation Xstrata over claims that it wilfully and negligently caused toxic contamination of large parts of the north-western Queensland city of Mount Isa over decades.
On May 1, International Workers Day, workers and unionists need to reflect on the greatest challenge facing humanity: global warming.
The following is an abridged version of a talk given by Terry Townsend at the recent Climate Change Social Change Conference in Sydney. Townsend is a long-term member of the Democratic Socialist Perspective and the managing editor of Links online journal (<http://links.org.au>).
I’m not going to yet another ritualised May Day march this year. But neither is anyone else in Sydney!
The 2020 summit was two days of political theatre for the new Rudd government. For 48 hours over April 19-20, film stars brushed white-board markers with Australias richest, and politicians mixed with Indigenous people, unionists and youth delegates.
Since the November federal election, the federal Labor government has moved to re-engineer the federal public service. In early December it re-shuffled portfolios to create new departments including the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), with deputy prime minister Julia Gillard as its minister.
On April 23, Chicago-based aerospace and military contractor Boeing reported a 38% jump in first-quarter profits for 2008, amounting to a whopping US$1.2 billion. “We’re off to a good start in what we expect to be another strong year of financial performance for Boeing”, chairperson, president and CEO Jim McNerney said.
On April 17, 500 Darwin and Palmerston public school teachers stopped work in protest against the NT government’s latest pay offer. During the April 11 protest rally, the NT branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) called for a further single day of protest action on April 30.
On April 23, up to 600 public school teachers and their supporters rallied outside state education minister Bronwyn Pike’s electoral office, in the final of their four-hour rolling stoppages. The action was part of the current enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) campaign that commenced on February 26.
The following statement was initiated by the participants in the Climate Change|Social Change conference, held in Sydney, Australia on April 11-13, 2008. Anyone who agrees with it is welcome to add their signature, and an updated list of signatories will be issued on a regular basis. The statement is being distributed to environmental, trade union, Indigenous, migrant, religious and community organisations to help build the movement against global warming Links to all audio and video recordings from the conference can be found at http://socialisteducation.blogspot.com/2008/04/audio-and-video-guide-to-cliamte-change.html
Aboriginal delegates to the 2020 summit, chaired by PM Kevin Rudd, expressed anger that it failed to agree on a treaty between Black and white Australia. They are also dismayed that there was no clear recommendation to form a new Indigenous representative body to oversee government policy.
First came the decision by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on April 9 to re-nationalise the Sidor steel plant, privatised by a pre-Chavez government in 1997, after a long workers’ struggle.