Analysis

Pressure from unions over the exploitation of foreign workers employed under the 457 visa scheme for temporary workers has forced the Howard government to tighten some of the regulations.
PM John Howard and ALP leader Kevin Rudd have both attacked Unions NSW secretary John Robertson for comments, secretly recorded and leaked to the media, made at a Bennelong Your Rights at Work meeting in late June.
In last month’s elections in the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Workers’ Rights team took all positions against a ticket led by an alliance between the union’s print and vehicle divisions. Some Workers’ Rights candidates received over 80% of the vote. In the Victorian branch, where most positions were strongly contested, 40% of members voted.
The 10th national Labour History Conference on June 4-6 delved into the labour movement’s past, but also featured interesting debates about present-day concerns.
Ali Humayun, the queer Pakistani locked up in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, is suing VIDC management and the federal government for negligence of care.
The following is abridged from a letter sent by Dean Mighell, Victorian secretary of the Electrical Trades Union, to ALP leader Kevin Rudd following Mighell’s forced resignation from the party on May 30.
We mourn our friend and comrade Gail, who lost her valiant battle with cancer on July 2.
On June 25, Russell Miles, a proud member of the International Socialist Tendency and widely-loved community activist, ended his life.
Jasmine Ali was found not guilty on June 26 on charges relating to her involvement in a February 22 protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney. The same day that she appeared before the court, the NSW government’s APEC Meeting (Policing Powers) Bill passed unamended through the NSW upper house. Ali was the second of two Cheney protesters to win court cases. There are six more trials to take place.
PM John Howard’s decision to “take control” of 60 to 70 Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory began to be implemented on June 27 when the first Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers flew into the Aboriginal township of Mutitjulu, near Uluru. The police officers were met by a large community delegation demanding answers.

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