unions

The recent elections in the Maritime Union of Australia made Bob Carnegie secretary of the Queensland branch. Carnegie is a committed socialist who has been a union, social justice and community activist in Queensland since the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era. More recently he risked prison, under the then-Campbell Newman government’s anti-union laws, leading a community campaign in defence of construction workers on the Brisbane Children’s Hospital building site. Green Left Weekly’s Margaret Gleeson spoke to Carnegie about his plans for the union. * * *
China’s Second Continent: How a million migrants are building a new Empire in Africa Howard W French Knopf Published May 20, 2014 304 pages www.howardwfrench.com In his 2009 film Rethink Afghanistan, director Robert Greenwald suggested that the US should not try to control the world through military means, but by building schools and hospitals in the countries it wishes to invade. Journalist Howard French's book China's Second Continent shows how such a model can work in practice.
High Hopes Bruce Springsteen Columbia Released January 17, 2014 www.brucespringsteen.net A recent documentary on veteran US rocker Bruce Springsteen asked fans to describe their hero in three words. The responses, compiled in the film Springsteen & I, were fairly predictable: "Badass, sensitive, perfect"; "Hope, energy, power”; “Earnest, inspiring, intense” and so on. The non-Springsteen fans reading this could probably think of a few far less kind words. But if I were to choose three, they would be: "Open to interpretation."
The Progressive PSA (PPSA) team has won important victories in elections for the 43,000-member NSW Public Service Association (PSA). PPSA member Anne Gardiner won the top position of General Secretary, and PPSA candidates took all positions on the 45-member Central Council. A recount will be held for other executive positions following an extremely close vote.
“I used to go fishing. I used to go to community meetings. I stopped doing that. I am tired because most of the time I am doing overtime.” Gamal Babiker, Cleaner. Cleaners working for contracting giant Spotless walked from Chadstone to Melbourne’s CBD on March 26 to highlight the brutal workloads that force them to walk the same huge distances in their jobs every single day.
More than 15,000 Community and Public Sector Union members from almost every Australian Public Service agency have voted on the CPSU's APS-wide bargaining claim. The final outcome was 14,665 (97.5%) in favour. The claim included an APS-wide pay rise of 4%, payable from July 1, 2011, and a further 4% payable from July 1, 2012. It also included additional measures to gradually increase pay in lower paid areas. There are currently large differences in pay between different agencies.
Aboriginal workers in the Northern Territory "want to work, want to have a go”, Aboriginal activist Mark Fordham told 60 people at Brisbane’s Kurilpa Hall on October 24. Fordham is a former Community Development Employment Projects co-ordinator at Ampilatwatja community and is a member of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union. Fordham had spent the previous two weeks touring the east coast, speaking with unions and community groups about the effect the federal government’s intervention into NT Aboriginal communities has had on employment.
WOLLONGONG — The Illawarra's peak union body, the South Coast Labour Council (SCLC), has called on the Australian government to pull troops out of Afghanistan and pursue an independent foreign policy. “In recent decades Australia has been dragged into quagmire after quagmire — blindly following the United States into military disasters that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of military and civilian casualties”, Arthur Rorris, SCLC secretary, said on October 22.
On October 20, 200 people gathered in the community of Kalkarindji to protest against the policies of the Northern Territory intervention, launched in 2007 by the Howard Coalition government. Under the intervention, Aboriginal welfare recipients in the NT have half their pay “quarantined” onto a Basics Card, which can be used only in approved stores and only for food, clothing and medical supplies.
The National Tertiary Education Union is undergoing a leadership renewal that will strengthen its progressive role on industrial and educational issues. The process will also help the NTEU on the social and environmental fronts on which it is showing leadership. Matthew McGowan, the former secretary of the union's Victorian division, has been elected as the union's new national assistant secretary. When McGowan headed the union’s Victorian division it succeeded in repelling serious attacks on staffing and educational standards at Victoria University and the University of Ballarat.
For many union leaders afraid of a Coalition victory on August 21, campaigning against Tony Abbott in the federal election simply means campaigning for Julia Gillard. With a conservative win on the cards, unions have escalated their pro-ALP campaigning. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) — which has filled Labor’s coffers with more than $340,000 for the election campaign — has enlisted officials for ring-arounds in marginal seats.

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