Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union

Jim McIlroy reports on Tom McDonald's long involvement in Australia’s trade union and Communist movements.

Maritime Union of Australia members employed by Qube marked 40 days of industrial action for health and safety provisions in their workplace agreement. Alex Salmon reports.

Hundreds rallied in Werribee, Victoria, against a proposal to dump toxic soil nearby on March 4. This is not the first time Werribee has been threatened with a toxic dump, writes Kerry Smith.

As the bushfire emergency drags on, with large parts of the country devastated, unions are demanding the government provide greater support for the firefighters, more assistance to the affected communities and to confront the climate change reality.

A crowd of unionists, estimated by organisers at 15,000, gathered at Belmore Park and marched through city streets to a rally in Cook and Phillip Park on November16, demanding "Stop the War on Workers".

Members of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) walked off building sites for the rally, while waterside workers belonging to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) closed down the Port of Botany for the day.

This month there have been four big wins for the union movement. Seventy jobs were saved at Murray Goulburn after a six month campaign; Dave, the union delegate sacked for leading a protest in his undies, has been reinstated; electricians at Crown Casino all got their jobs back on union conditions; and supermarket giant Coles has agreed to fast-track a vote on a new workplace agreement that will pay much higher penalty rates.

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The union movement’s opposition to the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has ratcheted up since the agreement was signed in Canberra on June 17. ChAFTA allows for 95% of Australian exports to China to be tariff free. These will include many agricultural products, including beef and dairy. In addition, there will be liberalisation of market access for the Australia's services sector, and investments by private companies from China under A$1.078 billion will not be subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.
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