Fair Work Commission (FWC)

Blaming wages for inflation is cover for the capitalists’ attempts to make working people shoulder the cost of their system’s chronic periodic economic crises, argues Peter Boyle.

Claims the new IR laws will close the gender pay gap and strengthen equal pay laws are welcome. But, as Mary Merkenich and Sarah Hathway argue, the laws will divide workers and weaken the Better Off Overall Test.

Federal Labor has been spruiking its new industrial relations laws as being the vehicle to miraculously improve wages. Josh Cullinan argues why that is not the case.

Following the Fair Work Commission’s decision to raise the minimum wage, welfare groups are calling on the Labor government to immediately lift welfare payments above the poverty line. Isaac Nellist reports.

Seasonal fruit pickers are systemically exploited and underpaid. Now several unions are mounting a challenge, Jim McIlroy reports. 

Unions and community organisations need to step up the push for real change, including a meaningful wage rise for low-paid workers, argues Alex Bainbridge.

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) condemned the Australian Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) decision at the end of last year in favour of US multinational Alcoa, saying on January 4 it would fight it.

Delivery rider Josh Klooger told the Fair Work Commission on July 3 that he deserves rights and protections, after Foodora sacked him earlier this year when he challenged their low rates and poor conditions.

The hearing is the first involving an unfair dismissal of a worker in the gig economy.

Ahead of the hearing, Klooger said: “Riders deserve fair rates, superannuation and protections when they are sick and injured on the job.

"We deserve the right to be able to challenge unfair sackings and speak out about the way we are treated.

Eureka Flag

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.

Earlier this year firefighters employed by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) voted to endorse the proposed enterprise agreement that had been agreed on by MFB management and the United Firefighters Union (UFU).

This followed a long campaign by the union for an agreement that would protect workers' rights. UFU state secretary Peter Marshall told Green Left Weekly the agreement was endorsed by the "overwhelming majority" of firefighters.

Unionists marching down the street carrying banners and flags.

About 700 members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and other unions gathered at Sydney Town Hall on May 29, and marched to the offices of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) where a lively rally was held calling for an end to laws limiting the right to strike.

The action was organised around demands for the right to organise, right to strike and right to live.

Communist and feminist Zelda D’Aprano became the symbol of the fight for equal pay when, in October 1969, she chained herself to the Commonwealth Offices in Melbourne, after becoming frustrated at the lack of pay equity for women.

D’Aprano was employed by the meatworkers union, which was involved in a test case on the gender pay gap in the meat industry before the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. At the time, women’s participation in the workforce was 38% and they were paid 75% of men’s wages for doing the same work.