786

Commonwealth prosecutors have dropped nine of the charges against three Tamil men, Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sivarajah Yathavan and Arumugam Rajeevan.
Government ministers have called on private employers not to sack staff in response to the economic crisis (a call that the company bosses have predictably ignored). Yet the government has been sacking its own workers.
Sacked shop steward and OH&S representative Joe Angelino has been re-employed, ending a two-week standoff between the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Energy Union and his employer, Caelli Constructions, at the construction site for the new children's hospital in Parkville.
As the Western Australian Coalition government slashes the state budget, vital community services for refugees are feared to be among the first to go.
Greens councillor Linda Eisler moved a motion titled Support for Palestinian Territories at a Canterbury council meeting on February 26.
A March 2 open letter to minister for climate change Penny Wong has described the federal government’s climate policy as “completely out of step with both current climate science and targets in other developed countries”. The open letter was endorsed by 65 climate action groups (CAGs).
In the face of the Rudd government’s refusal to confirm whether federally-funded maternity leave will be included in the upcoming May budget, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has retreated from its previous stance calling for immediate implementation.
On February 20, more than 200 workers were fired without pay from the Lavington-based Drivetrain automotive parts factory in Albury, New South Wales, as the company entered receivership.
The article below, by Jamal Juma, is abridged from <http://www.electronicintifada.net>. Juma is the coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (visit http://www.stopthewall.org). A leader of the South African Palestine Solidarity Committee mentioned in this article, Salim Vally, will be a guest speaker at the World at a Crossroads conference, Sydney Girls High, April 10-12. For more information, or to register, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org.
National accounts figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on March 4, showed that the Australian economy contracted by 0.5% in the three months to December, despite the federal government’s $10.6 billion stimulus package, which was paid out to pensioners and families before Christmas.
Maintenance workers at the Foster’s Abbotsford plant voted on March 3 to accept redundancy packages from the company.
As Gaza struggles to rebuild despite Israel’s ongoing near-total siege, more than 300 people in more than 100 vehicles are leading a convoy to bring aid and hope to the Palestinian territory.
When the federal industry minister Kim Carr announced the ALP government would give the car industry $6.2 billion in taxpayers’ money in November, he declared that it amounted to a “new beginning”.
Five hundred women marched in Sydney on March 7 to celebrate International Women's Day. Speakers demanded six months' paid maternity leave for all women; free, safe abortion on demand and free, quality child care. Other speakers urged women to fight
The article below is abridged from a March 4 statement released by Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East. For more information, contactinfo@adalahny.org.
The current economic crisis comes after 14 years of boom conditions, which delivered a profits bonanza to the bosses. Workers’ share of the national income has declined from 60% in 1978 to 51% today. At the same time, the cost of living has risen significantly.

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