workers' rights & unions

Venezuela: Seized US-owned factory was well-stocked, despite closure

Warehouses belonging to Kimberly-Clark Corporation — which recently had its factory seized and handed over to the workers — were found to be full of raw materials. This is despite the insistence from the factory's owners that they could not produce goods, Venezuelan industry minister Miguel Perez Abad said on July 15.

Argentina: Macri's austerity costs 179,000 jobs


General strike to protest mass layoffs under President Mauricio Macri. Buenos Aires, February 24. Photo: EFE.

Struggle reawakens in Zimbabwe


A march for jobs in Zimbabwe.

A national shutdown or 'stay away' in Zimbabwe this month paralysed the country. For the first time in years the country's ruling party, ZANU-PF, and the tenure of 92 year old president Robert Mugabe, were seriously rattled. Young people, workers and traders – who survive by hawking food, cheap imported goods in cities and towns – engaged in pitch battles with the police and army, in many cases outnumbering the security forces.

Greece under new US pressure for more spending cuts

Washington pressed Greece on July 21 to cut public spending to the bone in return for the latest slice of bailout money, Morning Star Online said.

After a meeting with Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Athens needed “to make headway on the next set of milestones due in October”.

Mexico: Teachers march, union attacked by paramilitary

Teachers affiliated to the radical CNTE union took to the streets of Mexico City on July 19, as their leaders hold talks with authorities to discuss the education reform that has led to two months of mass protests across the country.

The march kicked off at the national trainee teachers' college in the heart of Mexico City. Protesters held banners opposing President Enrique Pena Nieto, who spearheaded the neoliberal reform in 2013.

ETU ad pulled by Herald Sun

This advertisement was booked to run in Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun, to draw attention to the plight of 55 Carlton United Brewery workers who were unfairly sacked and offered their jobs back at 65% less pay.

Being the darlings of the big end of town that it is, the Herald Sun has refused to run it. But we can all help to share it far and wide.

As the dispute enters its seventh week, you can help to increase the pressure on the company.

'We have abolished the case for austerity' — Corbyn launches new leadership campaign amid strong support

Declaring "We have abolished the case for austerity", left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn officially launched his campaign for re-election in London on July 21. He used the occasion to make a strong putting a case for a clearly anti-austerity Labour Party to oppose the Tories and a rise in racism (see full speech below the article).

Longwarry Foods workers win new agreement

The National Union of Workers announced on July 15 that 50 workers who were locked out of a Victorian milk processing plant by Longwarry Foods on July 5 will be able to return to work after they voted for a new agreement.

Workers had been protesting outside Longwarry Foods, owned by Parmalat, one of the country's biggest milk producers, for 11 days, calling for better working conditions and to return to work.

CUB workers stand strong

The industrial action by Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) maintenance workers in Abbotsford has entered its seventh week. The company is refusing to back down from its decision to sack the workers and then offer to rehire them with a 65% pay cut.

The dispute started on June 10 when 55 fitters, electricians and maintenance workers backed by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) were told by management that they would be sacked, only to be then “invited” to re-apply for their job through a third-party contractor, Catalyst Recruitment.

Aurizon to cut 100 jobs in north Queensland

Rail freight operator Aurizon has told workers that about 100 jobs will be cut in north Queensland next month, according to the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RBTU).

The union says the cuts, which affect workers from Townsville to Gladstone, come on top of 200 jobs that the company has already shed over the past year.

RTBU northern manager Les Moffitt said the move affected coal and wagon maintenance which could not afford to lose more staff.

The company said it would be offering voluntary redundancies, while looking at retraining and relocating staff where possible.

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