Sue Bolton

Sue Bolton is a Moreland City Councillor and member of Socialist Alliance.

Workers win over Yarra Trams

A planned strike set for September 22 was cancelled when the tram and bus division of the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) struck a deal with Yarra Trams.

Workers had to take industrial action to win an agreement — they had non-uniform days, they banned short-running on tram routes and they had two four-hour strikes. They were about to go on strike again for four hours when the negotiations reached a resolution.


Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton wage war and handpick refugees

The announcement on September 9 that Australia will accept only 12,000 refugees from Syria and that the government will seek to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity and religion is further proof that the government is lying about leading the world in welcoming refugees.

Socialist Councillor: "Reject Abbott's lies: Australia can do more to respond to the refugee crisis"

Vienna, September 1.

“Tony Abbott's bizarre proclamation that Australia is leading the world on a per capita basis in welcoming refugees is a lie,” says Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance Councillor.

Tram workers on track for win against Yarra Trams

Industrial action taken by tram workers has already had an impact on Yarra Trams. The company has withdrawn some of its proposals for stripping the working conditions of tram workers.

Victorian government fails to stop rail strike

Over the past two weeks the Victorian Labor government has ramped up its hostile rhetoric towards rail and tram workers fighting to defend their rights.

This culminated in joint legal action taken in the Fair Work Commission with rail boss Metro Trains against the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) in a bid to stop railway workers from taking strike action on September 4.

It failed to stop the strike going ahead.

Tram and rail industrial action steps up

An emotional and highly charged stopwork meeting of hundreds of tram workers jammed into Trades Hall on August 27 to hear a report on their dispute with Yarra Trams.

Yarra Trams and Metro Rail workers had called off a planned four-hour strike on August 21 in the hope that the companies would present the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) with a better offer. The better offer never came so the tram workers struck for four hours on August 27. This was the first tram strike since 1997.

Rail and tram workers fight for justice

After a huge amount of political pressure from the Victorian government, the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) agreed to postpone its August 21 tram and train strike, and Metro Rail and Yarra Trams agreed to return to the negotiating table.

Had the strike gone ahead it would have been the first such strike in 18 years.

RTBU members were clearly fed up with their respective train and tram companies, with 98% of railway workers and 99.4% of tram workers who returned ballots voting for industrial action.

Real solutions needed for rising unemployment

The official unemployment rate in Broadmeadows is 23.5% but the real unemployment and underemployment rates are far higher. Youth unemployment is higher than the overall rate. We are very close to the 30% unemployment rate of the Great Depression.

Woolworths has now announced that it intends to close its Hume Distribution Centre and shift it across town to the outer south-eastern suburbs. This would throw about 680 people out of work.

Woolworths warehouse workers return to work

August 13 was Day 4 of an indefinite strike and picket by workers at Woolworths’ Melbourne Liquor Distribution Centre (MLDC). The strike began at 4am on August 9 when workers walked off the job in protest at Woolworths’ plans that all new employees would be labour hire casuals.

During the last enterprise bargaining negotiations, Woolworths had agreed not to introduce labour hire. Currently, all employees, including casuals, are directly employed by Woolworths with opportunities for casual workers to apply to become permanent each year.

Indefinite strike at Woolworths warehouse over labour hire

Woolworths’ decision that all new employees at its Melbourne Liquor Distribution Centre (MLDC) will be labour hire casuals has sparked an indefinite strike.

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