750

Nearly 30 years since she had seen her Northern Galilee home in what she called "48 Palestine", Rasmiya Barghouti was finally given a permit by the Israeli military authorities to visit. She decided to take two of her daughters and four of her
Five unions met in Brisbane on May 6 to launch a national campaign for the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
“The workers feel that what we achieved was a great triumph”, said Jose Melendez, the finance secretary for the United Steel Industry Workers’ Union (SUTISS), on the signing of a new contract for the Sidor steel plant’s workforce with the Venezuelan government, according to a May 6 Venezuelanalysis.com article.
“What the hell is happening in NSW”, interstate callers have been asking the Socialist Alliance national office in recent days. Many are former activists in NSW left politics, and remember with bitterness the days when “Sussex Street” (headquarters of Unions NSW and the ALP administration) could be relied upon to stifle any protest movement threatening the stability of NSW Labor in government.
According to a May 7 Prensa Latina report, the Ecuadorian government has denounced Colombia following the release of evidence that the Colombian military had executed four prisoners as part of its infamous March 1 assault on a camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that was within Ecuadorian territory.
Ground-breaking new research findings posted on the internet in April have confirmed what many scientists and climate activists have already concluded — that the goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions embraced by the European Union and Australia’s Labor government are gravely inadequate.
Cuba: How the Workers & Peasants Made the Revolution
By Chris Slee
Resistance Books, 2008
55pages, $6.00(pb)
Available from <http://www.resistancebooks.com>
More than 10,000 unionists marched through Brisbane’s streets on May 5, celebrating the union movement’s role in the defeat of the Howard government last year. The annual Labour Day parade was led by the building unions, with the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in the lead. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the original building workers\' union in Queensland.
In presenting the state budget on May 6, Premier John Brumby announced that “doing business in Victoria will become even easier”. The ALP government’s pro-corporate measures will cut almost $1.5 billion from taxes and costs for the big end of town.
After a four-hour community blockade on April 9, Melbourne Chef agreed to pay out sacked National Union of Workers (NUW) member Abdelwahab Bekhaled and negotiate a collective agreement at the site. However, the company reneged on the agreement, sparking a month-long union campaign. Bekhaled has finally received a payout that included long-service leave and all his entitlements.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and state mines and energy minister Geoff Wilson were on hand in early May to celebrate Rio Tinto’s announcement that the company would double exports of coal from Queensland in the next seven years.
On May 5, Victorian Premier John Brumby and education minister Bronwyn Pike announced that they had struck a deal with the Victorian Australian Education Union (AEU) over teachers’ pay. While there are several aspects of the agreement to be finalised, the government decided to go public and claimed that Victorian teachers are now the highest-paid teachers in Australia.
The plan for the privatisation of electricity in NSW is like the mythical creature the hydra, which had multiple heads. It had to be “killed” many times before it would actually die — and every time it was “killed” it could bite back apparently unharmed.
On May 5, the night before the Victorian budget was released, it was revealed that Premier John Brumby’s government is proposing to pay households with solar power$0.60 per kilowatt hour for electricity that they feed into the grid. However, this $0.60 will only be paid if households are exporting more energy than they are taking from the grid.
“How many minutes to midnight, do you reckon it is?”, asked a Green Left Weekly buyer at a street stall last week.
Thirty people participated in a media stunt outside the office of federal resource minister Martin Ferguson on May 7 to demand that he and the ALP keep their election promise to repeal the Commonwealth Radioactive Management Act of 2005 and its 2006 amendment. The protest was organised by Friends of the Earth.

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