Australia

 

The 18th annual Green Left Weekly Comedy Debate is set to take place on June 16 at 6.30pm at Brunswick Town Hall. Bookings are available online at Trybooking.    

The event has been running since 2000, each year raising a significant amount to contribute to the annual Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund.

More than 50 people attended the annual May Day Dinner held in Geelong on May 5. Speakers at the dinner included Maritime Union of Australia women’s liaison officer Mich-Elle Myers and Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association secretary Craig McGregor. Former Secretary of Geelong Trades Hall Council (GTHC) Tim Gooden also gave a toast to Green Left Weekly.

Green Left Weekly asked Myers and McGregor, as well as current GTHC secretary Colin Vernon, why it is important to celebrate May Day.

May Day this year, held on May 6 in Sydney, was the strongest, most powerful and largest May Day I have marched in for years.

I joined with dozens of union contingents comprising thousands of workers in Sydney, chanting “The workers united will never be defeated” and “What do we want? The right to strike.”

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has warned that a review of the Australian Public Service (APS) will fail if the federal government uses it to continue to promote its damaging neoliberal ideology and refuses to make significant policy changes that benefit all Australians.

Hundreds of people took part in a union rally to support a fair enterprise agreement at the University of Queensland on May 10. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) organised the industrial action in support of it's campaign.

NTEU branch president Andrew Bonnell told the rally that this was his fourth experience in negotiating an enterprise agreement at UQ and that it was "getting harder" to reach a resolution due to management intransigence.

More than 60 unionists and supporters of the labour movement met after the Sydney May Day march on May 6 to discuss the next steps of the Right to Strike campaign.

The meeting, which built on the success of a previous meeting held on April 14, called for the critical addition of the right to strike as a core demand of the Australian Council of Trade Unions' (ACTU) Change the Rules campaign.

In a dawn raid on May 4, about 20 police descended on protesters, who had set up tents on the lawn in front of Hobart’s Parliament House to protest the state government’s lack of response to Hobart’s housing crisis, and ordered them to move on.

In the biggest union mobilisation in Australia in more than a decade, up to 120,000 unionists and supporters descended on the streets of Melbourne on May 9.

The protest was organised as part of the Change the Rules campaign. The rally followed a mass delegates meeting in April and was the conclusion of nearly a fortnight of union actions across the country to launch the campaign.

Huge numbers took part in the annual Labour Day parade in Brisbane. This was the culmination of a weekend of rallies throughout the state. A wide number of workplace and social issues were canvassed at the rally including a strong call to #ChangeTheRules

The Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) released this statement on May 7.

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Refugee advocates have serious fears for the welfare of Omid, a 24-year-old Iranian refugee from Nauru, who has been on hunger strike for more than 30 days.

His condition has significantly deteriorated since he was hospitalised a couple of weeks ago. He has reached a critical stage in the hunger strike with growing concerns that he may have already suffered some long-term damage to his health.

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