Australia

BY GRAHAM WILLIAMS & MATTHEW RICH
MELBOURNE — The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union currently has more than half a dozen workshops out on strike in Victoria, trying to win a pattern bargaining agreement through the state AMWU branch's

GEELONG — Workers at Geelong Wool Combing (GWC) are maintaining their 24-hour picket outside the gates of their employer. The 110 workers have been overwhelmed by the level of support they have received from the community.

Adrian Van Doren, workplace delegate for the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union (TCFUA), told Green Left Weekly that the workers were locked out on April 28. "We've been here all this time and if it hadn't been for the support from our union and all the other great unions, who knows what would have happened?"

Activist Steffie Leedham is sitting on a platform high on a tree in Sydney Park. The platform is connected to two other big trees in the area of the park that has been fenced off for clearing to start building of the #WestConnex tollway and tunnel project's St Peters interchange.

Around Australia, thousands of unionists, led by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), took to the streets on June 20 as part of a national day of action against the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), attacks on penalty rates, wage theft by employers and exploitation of migrant workers.

The CFMEU was joined by hundreds of other workers in contingents including nurses, teachers, firefighters, financial sector workers, public sector workers, university staff, manufacturing workers, electrical trades and maritime workers.

Thousands of unionists march against cuts to penalty rates and reintroduction of the ABCC

Features:
* Ros McLennan (General Secretary of QCU)
* Peter Ong (ETU state secretary)

Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) students and supporters crashed the University of Sydney’s Vice Chancellor Michael Spence's Christmas party on December 13.

Singing carols and stripping down, they held up a banner — “USYD stripping us of our art school” — as people entered before going inside and jumping on the main stage.

On June 27, Geelong Trades Hall Secretary Colin Vernon along with other union and community activists raised the rainbow flag at Trades  Hall in support of marriage equality.

The council is supporting the LGBTI community and Surf Coast Shire residents who have been campaigning to keep the flag flying at their local council building since council backtracked on a position it took in April.

Green Left Weekly speaks to Joel Gilmore about the March for Science in Brisbane.

Several thousand people joined Women's Marches in Sydney and Melbourne on January 21, a part of a global mobilisation to coincide with the inauguration of the misogynist far-right US President Donald Trump.

Half a million people took part in the main protest in Washington DC, more than 3 million marched throughout the US and hundreds of thousands more marched globally.

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