Thousands of workers took to the streets in a national day of action to demand wage rises and protest anti-union laws, report Jacob Andrewartha, Sue Bolton, Alex Bainbridge and Jim McIlroy.
Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC)
Unionists say the anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission should be abolished immediately. Jim McIlroy reports.
If Labor wins government on May 21 unionists must press for the right to strike, argues Chris White.
In the lead-up to a federal election, some May Day rallies across Australia from April 30 to May 2 were bigger than usual. Kerry Smith reports.
Tucked away at the end of Labor’s Secure Australian Jobs Plan for this election is a promise to abolish the ABCC. Workers will need to hold Labor to account if elected, argues Sue Bull.
Activists from the Australian Council of Trade Union’s campaign to “change the rules” for workers were told the day before pre-polling started that its official how-to-vote for the May 18 federal election would call on voters to put Labor first.
Disappointed, though not too surprised by the decision, some activists have decided not to hand out for the campaign.
In an interview with Sky News on March 8, finance minister Matthias Cormann said, “The whole reason why it is important to have flexibility in the labour market … is … to ensure that wages can adjust in the context of economic conditions, is to avoid massive spikes in unemployment … That is a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture.”
In a clear win for the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU), the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has ruled that Eureka Flags and other union banners can be flown from cranes on building sites.
The decision is another setback for the federal Coalition government and its industrial police force, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
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.
Australian workers are doing it tough. Wage rises have dropped to their lowest level in decades: ABS figures show average full-time wages have fallen below basic cost of living needs. Casual workers have taken an even harder hit.
It’s time to fight back and get organised. The Australian Council of Trade Unions seems to have come out of its bunker. It has called for a full blown “Change the Rules” campaign to win back our “rights at work”, lost progressively since 1996.
It is a basic right of working people to organise collectively through our unions
We own our own labour and should have the right to control our labour by organising collectively through our unions. Workers and our unions should not be prosecuted or penalised for organising our labour.
Our current industrial laws are anti worker, anti union and simply unjust and make it harder for workers to organise to defend our wages, conditions and living standards.
The time has come to scrap the misnamed Fair Work Act (FWA) and introduce genuine pro-worker and pro-union industrial relations legislation in this country.
Rising pressure on federal employment minister Michaelia Cash to resign over her cover-up of the illegal actions by former Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) head Nigel Hadgkiss merely underlines the fact that Australia’s industrial relations system is badly broken.
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