Dateline Melbourne

Rank-and-file ticket wins HSU No 3 branch

The rank and file “Clean Sweep” ticket won all contested positions of the Victorian Health Services Union (HSU) No 3 branch in elections held on November 26.

The HSU's No 3 branch covers 36 professions; from physiotherapists, radiographers, anesthetic technicians to occupational therapists, social workers, and medical illustrators. The No 3 branch is the smallest of the three HSU branches with a membership of about 3500.

Super A-Mart locks out workers

Members of the National Union of Workers (NUW) employed at the Super A-Mart warehouse in Somerton have maintained a presence outside their workplace since being locked out on March 7.

The workers held a one-day strike on February 28 in support of their campaign for an enterprise bargaining agreement, which would be the first ever signed at the warehouse. They called another strike on March 7, but were then locked out indefinitely by the company.

Unionists witness Bangladeshi worker conditions

Three Australian unionists recently returned from Bangladesh gave a reportback to a forum in Melbourne on March 5 on the conditions experienced by its clothing and textile workers.

The meeting was organised by Australia Asia Worker Links (AAWL).


Power to criminalise protest comes to Victoria

Victoria’s upper house passed the Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill on March 11. Debate was interrupted by protesters in the public gallery, who were removed by police.

Vic gov’t on ‘naptime’ as mine fire poisons Morwell

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine is living up to his new nickname, “Naptime”, as the Hazelwood coalmine fire continues its terrible impact on the town of Morwell in the Latrobe Valley.

The edge of the town is only a few hundred metres from where the fire has been burning since February 9. The plume of toxic smoke and ash from the fire has been blanketing the town.

Community tells state gov't to build Doncaster Rail

About 140 people attended Manningham City Council’s forum on February 20 to hear speakers discuss the case for a railway line to Doncaster, Victoria.

Doncaster Rail has been promised since the late 1890s and Manningham City, comprising 10 suburbs and only 12 kilometres from the CBD, is the only Melbourne municipality without a railway line even though it is a rapidly growing area.

At the 2011 Census, Manningham had a population of 111,300.

Moreland joins ‘trains not tunnels’ campaign

Residents of Moreland in Melbourne's inner north have joined the campaign against the unpopular East West Link tollway tunnel. A community rally is planned for  March 30.

Some of the local groups most affected by the tunnel in Moreland are sporting clubs. The Brunswick Zebras soccer club, the Brunswick Cricket Club and the Royal Park Reds cricket club face losing access to sports grounds while the tunnel is being built.

Give SPC back to the community, no big business handouts

Food giant Coca-Cola Amatil has threatened to close the SPC Ardmona fruit canning company in Victoria, unless the federal government and Victorian government give it $25 million each in assistance.

The company wants to spend $161 million on upgrading and restructuring its manufacturing facilities in Shepparton. If the plant is closed, about 3000 jobs in the Goulburn Valley, and many small orchard farms, would be lost.

Victorian 'move on' laws to criminalise protesters

Unions and community groups have strongly criticised a bill that aims to give Victorian police unprecedented power to disband protests and ban individuals from taking part in protest activity.

The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill 2013 will increase powers available to police under “move on” laws.

Rally to free ASIO refugees

Tamil people and their supporters rallied on January 20 against the detention of 46 refugees who have been held for years even though they have been recognised by the Australian government as genuine refugees.

Most of these refugees are Tamils from Sri Lanka. They are being held because they have negative security assessments by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Negative ASIO decisions have, in effect, condemned these refugees to a life sentence.

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