workers' rights & unions

GREEN LEFT REPORT #10: Left wins in council and union elections + more

Features interviews with Sue Bolton, the newly elected Socialist Alliance councillor for Moreland in Melbourne and Lindsay Hawkins, one of the Progressive PSA team that have won control of the union representing NSW public servants.

WikiLeaks exposes TPP corporate power grab

United States politics is witnessing a new sorry spectacle — and one with real consequences for Australia, as well as other nations on the Pacific rim.

US President Barack Obama is trying to drum up support from his party to implement the agenda of the huge corporations that sought to block his election and re-election via the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free trade” deal involving 12 Pacific rim nations.

The text of the proposed agreement and the negotiations have been kept secret, but key chapters have leaked and been published by WikiLeaks.

Ecuador: Poverty slashed by social spending

Ecuador has lifted 1.3 million people out of poverty in the past eight years, a new survey revealed on April 13, TeleSUR English said that day.

The results of the first “Survey of Living Conditions in Ecuador” showed that poverty has fallen by one third. It also revealed that 900,000 individuals have been lifted out of extreme poverty, whilst the Gini coefficient, which measures wealth gaps, has dropped 4.8 points since 2006.

Jobs for Women to be a feature film


Four Jobs for Women leaders in front of the steelworks in the early 1980s. Photo: Jobs for Women Facebook

In Wollongong in the early 1980s, jobs for women were scarce. They either had to wake at dawn to travel to Sydney on the diesel train or they sewed in backyard sweatshops for minimal wages.

Ways to get active this week

BRISBANE
Join us on International Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday April 28 at 10am to remember all those who have been injured or killed at work and renew the call for safe workplaces. Emma Miller Place, Roma St, Brisbane.

CAIRNS
Come to a May Day Dinner on Friday May 1 at 7pm to celebrate workers’ solidarity. With Jeremiah Johnson and band, great speakers and bar. Entry including food $35/$25; entry only $10/$7. Machans Beach Hall. Ph Jonathan 0437 790 306.

MELBOURNE

In Brief

VIC TRADES HALL CONDEMNS SDA ON PENALTY RATES

The Victorian Trades Hall Council has condemned the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association’s agreement with the South Australian Chamber of Commerce to remove penalty rates for retail workers. The VTHC said it opposed any move to further the federal government’s agenda by attacking hard fought entitlements and condemns attacks by the business lobby to reduce workers' wages.

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Qantas attacks the right to strike

In December last year, minister for employment Eric Abetz and Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the terms of reference for an inquiry into Australia’s workplace relations framework by the Productivity Commission that was established by John Howard’s Coalition government in 1998.

In a paper released in January, the Productivity Commission indicated that what was up for grabs were the minimum wage, penalty rates, unfair dismissal laws and the role of unions in collective bargaining.

May Day march

May Day March! Saturday May 2, 10.00am. Meet 10am, Lowden Square, Wollongong, for a march.

Event date: 
Sat, 02/05/2015 - 10:00am

World Social Forum meets in Tunis, SYRIZA's Tsipras urges 'global struggle'

More than 4000 local and global groups from 120 countries took part in the 14th World Social Forum in Tunisia from March 24 to 28. The WSF was created as a popular alternative to the corporate-dominated, elite World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

The first WSF was held in Brazil in 2001 and was organised as an alternative to the WEF, the yearly meeting of the global ultra-rich.

Wealth, inequality crucial factors in Arab revolts

In the more than four years since mass uprisings ousted dictatorial regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, it can seem that the initial hopes represented by these mass movements lie in tatters.

Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq remain mired in bloody armed conflicts that have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more within and across borders.

In the pivotal case of Egypt, military rule has returned through the violent crushing of protests, the arrests of an estimated 40,000 people and the rebuilding of the repressive structures of the Hosni Mubarak era.

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