workers' rights & unions

Greece: Negotiations hit crisis point, solidarity vital

Will Greece's SYRIZA-led government reach a last-minute deal with its creditors, the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the “Troika” - to release the last €7.2 billion owed to the country under Greece's second bail-out agreement?

United States: McDonald's low paid workers protest, company dodges $1.7 billion tax

United States: Thousands of low-paid McDonald's workers protest

Thousands of McDonald's workers seeking a minimum wage of US$15 per hour have protested outside the fast-food giant's headquarters for two days of protests on May 21 and 22.

Reuters said: “Protests by low-wage fast-food and retail workers have helped fuel a national debate about pay levels ...
“Tyree Johnson, 47, of Chicago joined thousands of others for noisy but peaceful protests outside McDonald's headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook on Wednesday.

Bureau of Meteorology and Agriculture staff join growing strikes

Community and Public Service Union (CPSU) members at the Bureau of Meteorology and Agriculture Department, including Quarantine and Meat Inspectors, are the latest in a growing number of public servants taking industrial action to highlight the federal government’s attacks on workers’ rights, pay and conditions.

Members held one hour stop-work meetings on May 19, part of a week of rolling stoppages across the Commonwealth public service that has already seen tens of thousands of CPSU members walk off the job in Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support and the Tax Office.

Leopard Tony Abbott has not changed his spots

I guess there were some people who thought that the leopard Tony Abbott may have changed his spots after his look-we've-changed 2015 federal budget. The polls certainly suggest this.

As William Bowie wrote in his Poll Bludger column in Crikey.com: “A flurry of post-budget opinion polls adds up to a solid increase in the Coalition’s standing, with Tony Abbott’s personal standing now rivalling his least-bad results since his short-lived post-election honeymoon.”

Ireland: Unions launch new platform for democratic and social renewal

A special May Day conference was convened on May 1 and 2 by the five trade unions affiliated to the Right2Water campaign, which is leading the huge struggle against water charges in Ireland.

The conference discussed a set of core principles that will underpin a “Platform for Renewal”, with the aim to unite left and progressive forces before the next general election.

Philippines: Deadly fire at factory with record of abuse


Protest at Kentex factory, Valenzuela City, Metro Manila, May 15. Photo: Partido Lakas ng Masa/Facebook.

Revelations have continued emerging over safety and labour abuses at the Philippines factory where 72 people died in a fire on May 13.

Venezuela: Maduro rules out austerity amid falling oil prices, debate over way forward

It is a point of honour for the Venezuelan government that despite the sharp plunge in oil prices and acute shortages of goods, President Nicolas Maduro has ruled out austerity measures.

In a recent TV interview with former vice president Jose Vicente Rangel, Venezuelan Central Bank president Nelson Merentes explained why, saying: “Do you remember what happened on February 27, 1989?”

US Senate caves on Trans-Pacific Partnership 'fast-track', nightmare free trade deal closer

In the United States Senate, Republicans eventually reached a deal on May 13 with a group of Senate Democrats over a bill that Democrats had unanimously rejected a day earlier, TeleSUR English said that day. It grants special “fast-track” powers to President Barack Obama to negotiate key free trade agreements.

Mexico: Govt blocks missing students investigation; Farmworkers make gains

Mexican gov't blocks investigation over missing students


Demonstrators demanding justice in the case of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students. Photo: Clayton Conn/TeleSUR.

The lawyer representing the parents and relatives of 43 missing Ayotzinapa students criticised the Mexican government on May 14 for stopping a meeting between experts from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and army officials.

Time to end poverty for the unemployed

The Anti-Poverty Network South Australia released this statement on May 11.

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This year marks the 21st anniversary of the last time Newstart Allowance was raised in real terms.

Since the 1994 federal budget, when Newstart was raised by a mere $2.95, the level of the payment has stagnated, falling increasingly behind the rest of community, and creating widespread poverty for unemployed people.

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