Pacific region

SDA making life harder for young workers

A new enterprise bargaining agreement reached by the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) is set to leave thousands of low-paid workers worse off, according to detailed analysis conducted by union official Josh Cullinan, the May 24 Sydney Morning Herald said.

“Cullinan, who works for the National Tertiary Education Union, did the analysis in a personal capacity, estimated Coles could be saving more than $20 million a year in wages by underpaying its staff.

Solidarity with seafearers in Devonport

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.

Protest at Abbott's sham constitutional recognition ‘consultation’

About sixty Aboriginal activists and supporters protested outside the federal government’s “Recognition” meeting at Kirribilli House on July 6.

PM Tony Abbott invited a selection of 40 Aboriginal "leaders", and opposition leader Bill Shorten, to discuss his proposal for a referendum on including a new clause in the Australian constitution to recognise prior Aboriginal occupation.

West Papua wins Melanesian Spearhead Group breakthrough


Marchers in Honiara in support of West Papua’s bid to join the MSG, June 19.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) granted the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) observer membership during a summit meeting in Honiara on June 26. It also upgraded Indonesia’s membership from observer to associate.

[PHOTOS] Sydney: March against forced closures of Aboriginal communities

About 800 people rallied at Sydney Town Hall Square on June 28 as part of the third #SOSBlakAustralia global mobilisation against the threatened forced closures of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and elsewhere. Protest actions also took place in other cities around the country, and in some cities overseas, over the same weekend.

[PHOTO STORY] Still no justice for family of Eddie Murray 34 years after death in a police cell

A rally for justice for Eddie Murray, a young Aboriginal man who was killed by "persons unknown" while detained in Wee Waa police station in north-western NSW on June 12, 1981. Anna Murray, Eddie's younger sister recalled answering the door to the police who came to arrest her brother 34 years ago. She was the last member of the family to see Eddie alive. She added that there had never been a protest in Wee Waa over her brother's death and she proposed that one be held there this time next year.

Whistleblower: Nauru and Manus detention centres can't be fixed and should be closed down

A small symbolic protest in the rain was held outside the Commonwealth government offices in Bligh St, Sydney on June 16.

The action marked the submission of a petition to the Senate with 65,000 signatures calling for the immediate closure of Manus Island and Nauru asylum seeker detention centres.

These Australian offshore asylum seeker detention centres were disasters that could not be fixed, Nicole Judge, a whistleblower and former worker at both centres, told the protest which was organised by the Sydney Refugee Action Coalition.

How women fought BHP for jobs

In a David and Goliath struggle that became known as the “Jobs for Women” campaign, 34 mostly migrant, unemployed, working-class women took on Australia’s largest company, Broken Hill Propriety Limited (BHP).

In a landmark legal and industrial struggle, they sued BHP’s subsidiary, Australian Iron and Steel (AIS) in Port Kembla for sex discrimination because they refused to employ women. After a long, hard struggle over 14 years, the campaign eventually won damages estimated at up to $9 million for more than 700 women who had applied to work at the steelworks.

Australian Unemployment Union 'fights the fine'

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.

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How are attacks on welfare recipients and attacks on workers connected?

Union opposes forced closure of communities

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott stating its complete opposition to the forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities.

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