Australian Council of Trade Unions

While estimates of the size of the Climate Strike in Australia vary, one thing is certain: many generations want real action to deal with climate change — and they want it now.

Ahead of this Friday’s global climate strikes, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has released a statement of support for students striking from school for climate action. The ACTU joins more than 30 Australian unions that have endorsed the School Strike for Climate movement.

It is well-established that the right to strike is protected under the International Labour Organization’s 1948 Freedom of Association Convention and 1949 Convention on the Right to Organise. However, this is another internationally recognised right that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Coalition government has been incrementally eroding.

The economic slow down means the Coalition will either abandon its promise of increasing budget surpluses and increase government spending — on infrastructure for instance — to stimulate the economy or it will double down on its commitment to a surplus, necessitating spending cuts. Its track record suggests the latter, writes Graham Mathews.

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.

Thousands of trade unionists marched through Sydney streets on October 23 as part of nationwide “Change The Rules” mobilisations coordinated by the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Under the slogan “Australia needs a pay rise”, an estimated 170,000 trade union members and their supporters filled Melbourne’s CBD on October 23 for the Australian Council of Trade Unions-initiated Change the Rules rally.

Thousands of trade union members rallied in Perth's Solidarity Park on October 18 to kick off the nationwide series of Change the Rules protests organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

Workers from five Alcoa sites throughout Western Australia voted at a mass meeting in Pinjarra on September 28 to end their seven-week strike. The vote occurred after the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), which covers the 1600 Alcoa workers, secured an agreement guaranteeing job security and ensuring that no workers would be replaced through casualisation, contracting or labour-hire companies.

More than 1700 delegates from 40 unions attended a mass meeting at the Melbourne Convention Centre on September 25, where they voted to hold an all-unions march and rally next month. Present at the mass delegates meeting were unions covering workers in the health, construction, education, public, transport and manufacturing sectors, among others.

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