Australia

MELBOURNE — On May 29, a group of activists from the Footscray Socialist Alliance presented a petition to the electorate office of Nicola Roxon, ALP federal MP for Gellibrand. The petition, signed by 300 residents of her electorate, called for the

BY KATRINA HECKENDORF & PAUL OBOOHOV
On May 28, protest actions were held outside immigration department office in Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth and Sydney by asylum seekers and their supporters to launch the National Anti-Deportation

BY MIKE BYRNE
It was no surprise when Telstra revealed plans to further reduce its workforce by at least 3000 workers to the Senate estimates committee on May 26.
A week of fudging by Telstra's senior management had followed the Australian

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?"

170 people rallied outside Queensland parliament on March 1 - the day two abortion law reform bills were due to be debated. Instead, the bills were withdrawn by the mover, Rob Pyne, who secured a promise by the government that the issue of abortion rights would be referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

Introducing the rally, Anna McCormack of the Womens Abortion Rights Campaign said "we're very, very disappointed about what has happened and we're more than a little angry by recent events".

Sex workers and their allies held their first public rally for law reform and an end to stigma in Brisbane on March 8.

[Photos by Kamala Emanuel. Full report here.]

A hastily called International Women's Day rally attracted around 150 people in Brisbane on March 11. Speakers condemned the state parliament's failure to pass laws decriminalising abortion, expressed solidarity with transwomen and Muslim women and pointed to the many ongoing attacks and campaigns for women's liberation. One person carrying a transphobic sign was answered by an expression of trans solidarity from the rally platform, widely and enthusiastically supported in the crowd.

Alomst 200 people marched through Brisbane on March 25 as part of the March in March mobilisation.

About 50 Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members and supporters occupied the foyer of the Brisbane offices of Rio Tinto on March 28.

Rio Tinto has reneged on its agreement with the MUA to have 70–80% Australian crew on its coastal fleet. Instead it is using exploited foreign workers who are paid $3–4 per hour. This is despite posting a $6 billion profit last year.

Queensland branch secretary of the MUA Bob Carnegie said: “No Australian should be locked out of Australian jobs so foreign workers can be exploited and paid below a minimum wage.”

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