Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in the Australian Taxation Office have voted to reject management's latest proposed enterprise agreement. As a result, the CPSU has launched a campaign for a "no" vote in the all-staff ballot to take place over November 9-15. Management is still offering a pay rise of only 9% over three years. The CPSU has produced posters highlighting the discrepancy between this 3% a year offer to workers and the 58% rise that Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo has sought from the Remuneration Tribunal.
See all of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage here I joined Resistance just over a month ago and when I heard Sydney would join the Occupy Together movement, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. From my understanding, Australia wasn’t experiencing even comparable economic conditions to the United States and while I certainly believed our system needs fundamental change I was a little sceptical about the effectiveness of these Occupy movements to say the least.
The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks sits on the precipice. With it sits freedom of expression and freedom of the press — two fundamental human rights encapsulated in the charter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. WikiLeaks is under a series of attacks and could be forced to close some time next year if it is unable to break a United States-backed financial blockade, editor-in-chief Julian Assange said on October 24.
Justice for West Papua I write to express my deep distress at the recent brutal attacks and killings by the Indonesian military in West Papua. While the Australian government and people should strive for good relations with Indonesia, this should not at the expense of Australia covering up, excusing, condoning or abetting human rights violations and repression in West Papua. The Indonesian army has a long, sordid history of abuses and other appalling actions in East Timor and elsewhere and is still pursuing these same brutal, oppressive policies in West Papua.
Thousands of palm oil workers in the Puerto Wilches district, Colombia, were on general strike on October 27. The workers were defending collective bargaining and opposing the spread of casualisation and precarious work on palm oil farms. In early August, a major company, Palmas Oleaginosas Bucarelia, refused to enter into meaningful negotiations with the agricultural workers’ union Sintrainagro for the renewal of the collective agreement. Bucarelia instead proposed to cut benefits, restrict union activity on the farm and increase precarious work through more use of outsourced labour.
The Party of Wall Street has ruled unchallenged in the United States for far too long. It has totally dominated the policies of presidents over at least four decades (if not longer). It has legally corrupted Congress via the craven dependency of politicians in both parties upon its money and upon access to the mainstream media it controls.
A 50% cut of part of Greece’s debt was decided on by a summit of European leaders on October 26. The deal will entail long-term austerity measures being enforced on the Greek people. Representatives of the “troika” (the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — IMF) will be permanently placed in all Greek ministries to supervise how things are run. If they manage to impose it on Greece, this new form of occupation will likely spread to other countries. See also
Amid the worldwide media coverage of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s death, a historic development in another conflict went largely unnoticed. After more than 40 years of a military campaign against the Spanish state, the Basque armed group ETA announced a permanent end to its use of violence in the struggle for an independent and socialist Basque state. This follows previous announcements from the group, declaring a desire to pursue independence for the Basque Country through peaceful measures.
Jess Moore from Stop CSG Illawarra addressed Occupy Sydney at Martin Place on October 22. Moore, who is also a member of the Socialist Alliance, was awared the NSW Nature Conservation Council's Rising Star award for "the most outstanding environmental effort of an individual under 30". Her speech appears below. * * * To increase the wealth of the already astoundingly wealthy, the tiny few, the planet that sustains all life is being destroyed. As the world’s leading climatologist James Hansen said, this is our last chance to save humanity.
Warren Smith, assistant secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, addressed Occupy Sydney at Martin Place on October 22. His speech appears below. * * * Some people have been asking why the Maritime Union of Australia is here today, why we’ve been here since day one, why we have given the support and solidarity that we have, and will continue to give, to this wonderful movement right around Australia and right around the world.