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Some unions have been rightfully criticised for sending mixed messages to members regarding the September 20 Climate Strike, writes Crimson Coconut.

When the Coalition unexpectedly won the May federal elections, it was tempting to assume no good would come of it. But that type of thinking ignores just how much money the gambling industry lost with the defeat of the odds-on favourite, Labor.

As part of Anti-Poverty Week, on October 21 and 22, Anti-Poverty Network South Australia hosted Power To The Poor — Silent No More, a two-day conference devoted to the attacks faced by welfare recipients in Australia — sole parents, unemployed people, age and disability pensioners, carers, and others — and opportunities for pushing back.

WENDY, a job-seeker in her late 50s, spoke about her experiences as an older unemployed person. Below she was interviewed by PAS FORGIONE from Anti-Poverty Network SA.

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Members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and supporters rallied outside the Caltex Kurnell oil depot on July 20 to support the seafarers on the tanker Alexander Spirit in Devonport Harbour who are campaigning to protect their jobs and conditions. MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer, MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin, Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon and representatives of the international transport union addressed the protest.
Following the announcements of the closure of Ford, Alcoa and Target’s head office, workers in the Geelong region have been dealt another blow. Barwon Health, now one of the largest employers in the Geelong region, announced on May 29 that its laundry service LinenCare would close by June 30, making 94 workers unemployed.
Owen Bennett is the founder of the Australian Unemployment Union. He recently spoke at a public forum in Adelaide hosted by Anti-Poverty Network SA on why attacks on employed and unemployed people are connected. Pas Forgione from Anti-Poverty Network SA spoke to him about how these attacks are related and the Australian Unemployment Union's latest campaign. * * * How are attacks on welfare recipients and attacks on workers connected?
Community and Public Service Union (CPSU) members at the Bureau of Meteorology and Agriculture Department, including Quarantine and Meat Inspectors, are the latest in a growing number of public servants taking industrial action to highlight the federal government’s attacks on workers’ rights, pay and conditions. Members held one hour stop-work meetings on May 19, part of a week of rolling stoppages across the Commonwealth public service that has already seen tens of thousands of CPSU members walk off the job in Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support and the Tax Office.
Qantas has announced the closure of its maintenance base for Boeing 747 aircraft at Avalon airport in Victoria. About 300 workers are to be sacked, most of them from the local town of Geelong. The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association has questioned company claims that the jobs will be transferred to the more efficient Brisbane maintenance base, suggesting that a shortage of skilled workers in Brisbane will mean the maintenance is mainly done offshore in south-east Asia. These job losses add to a long string of bad news for employment in Geelong.
Vodafone Australia said on October 29 it would cut 500 jobs – 10% of its workforce – by the end of November. Vodafone Australia CEO Bill Morrow said the cuts will make the company "leaner" in an attempt to turn around its performance. Vodafone had a $131 million loss during the first half of this year.
June 29 was dubbed "Black Friday" for Queensland public servants as up to 3000 temporary and contract workers faced the sack from the Liberal-National Party government. Contracts for many staff in "non-frontline" jobs expired and will not be renewed under a job freeze ordered by Premier Campbell Newman, the June 29 Courier-Mail said. Newman has also appointed a razor gang, following the interim report of the Costello Commission of Audit into state debt, to find more cuts, including jobs of permanent staff.

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