More than 400 workers from several unions, notably the CFMEU, took their fight straight to billion dollar miner Rio Tinto for its complicity in sacking Australian seafarers and replacing them with foreign workers, who are paid as little as $2 an hour. On February 5 in the Port of Newcastle, five crew members were marched down the gangway of the CSL Melbourne by more than 30 police. Those same police escorted the foreign replacement crew onto the ship to sail it away.
Love Makes a Way, a national movement of Christians concerned about refugee rights, protested outside Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's electorate office on February 10. The protest is a part of some 20 events to take place around the country over the next two weeks.
A union picket line has been established against Dulux in Rocklea. The workers are fighting for two key elements: the payment of sick leave and for redundancy payouts to be uncapped. Currently redundancy payments are capped at 20 years, reducing the payout for workers who have worked for Dulux for upwards of 35 years. The issue arose when, in March last year, 60 redundancies were announced. This was later reduced to 40.
Protesters gathered outside the Queensland State Executive on December 30, angry at yet another incident of violence against an Aboriginal child in the custody of the state. Denzel, an 11 year old boy, had been severely bashed in juvenile detention. His family is demanding an urgent inquiry into the state brutality, and that Denzel be released back to them and to safety.
In the context of the anti-Muslim racism spiked by the recent attacks in Paris, the Electrical Trades Union Queensland and Northern Territory (ETU Qld and NT) has produced a video showing that racism is anti-worker and has no place in the Australian community. ETU (Qld and NT) Secretary Peter Simpson told Green Left Weekly: “We at the ETU have been watching the impact racism has had on workers for quite a while now.
On November 27 the ABC published documents showing that the Queensland Coordinator General plans to extinguish native title over parts of the proposed Carmichael mining site in the Galilee basin and give the freehold to Adani. The document said: "The Moray Downs Land acquisition includes the takeover of native title rights and interests of the Wangan and Jagalingou people to allow for the leasehold land to be converted to freehold.
Environment groups have welcomed the passage of legislation on November 12 that restricts sea dumping and port expansion in the Great Barrier Reef heritage area as a victory for people power.
More than 50 teachers at Yeronga State High School in Brisbane, including principal Terry Heath, held an afternoon strike on November 17 as part of their campaign to free 21-year-old Mojgan Shamsalipoor from immigration detention.
Brisbane See a film at Red Cinema: Disruption. This film looks at the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York. Entry $15/$10 conc. Meal and drinks available. Friday November 6 at 6pm. Brisbane Activist Centre, 74B Wickham St, Fortitude Valley. Phone Angus 0431 935 576. Melbourne
A Queensland woman has won a High Court challenge against corporations owning human genes. Yvonne D’Arcy took her fight against US-based biotech company Myriad Genetics to Australia’s highest court. The company has a patent over the BRCA1 gene that is linked to an increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. A Queensland woman has won a High Court challenge against corporations owning human genes.