workers' rights & unions

'But the banks are made of marble' — how banks screw the world

Across Africa, western Asia and Latin America in the 1980s, the growth of per capita GDP was brought to a halt. This was not a recession, it was a severe depression. And its cause was reckless lending by banks in the ’70s.

A decade earlier, the euro currency had been invented. US dollars deposited in non-US banks and held there to avoid restrictions of US laws became negotiable financial instruments. These formed the basis for an unregulated market specialising in short-term loans.

Europe divided over Greece: Popular voices demand democracy, elite push austerity

The message from the mainstream media and parties across Europe is Greece is to blame for its own predicament. But a growing grass-roots movement across the continent is pushing for an alternative approach that demands democracy, not austerity.

In a speech to the Belgian parliament on June 10, conservative Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel declared that “the end of the Greek holiday has sounded.”

Union calls for sacking of Australia Post boss over job losses

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has called for Australia Post (AP) CEO Ahmed Fahour to be sacked over his plans for 1900 job losses from the government-owned postal service. The call follows Fahour's statement on June 26 that AP would spend up to $190 million slashing employment in the agency in response to a declining volume of letter deliveries.

AP employs 36,000 staff, with about 23,000 working in the mail service. Fahour claims the cuts follow losses in the mail delivery section totalling more than $1.5 billion in the last five years.

Power industry job cuts slammed

Unions have slammed plans to axe more than 2700 jobs from the NSW power industry this year. Publicly owned electricity network companies Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy have revealed plans to cut 2749 jobs from September, offering staff just one week to consult on the proposal.

The announcement follows the recent passage of legislation by the NSW government to privatise the power "poles and wires" network. The proposed job cuts are part of preparations for the sale of long-term leases for the three public power companies.

Greece: Huge march says 'No!' to austerity


Marchers in Athens reject austerity and demands of Greece's creditors, July 3.

Immigration and Border Force staff strike

Staff of the Immigration and Border Force agency marked the first day of their newly merged federal department on July 1 by going on strike for the second time in a week.

Two-hour stoppages and meetings took place at seaports, workplaces and international airports, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide. Significant disruption of services was reported.

Latin America's ALBA bloc supports Greece's fight against 'finance capital'

The ALBA bloc, comprised of 12 Latin American and Caribbean nations, expressed its support to Greece, as the Mediterranean country continues to renegotiate its debt with eurozone lenders.

In a statement June 28, the bloc, which calls itself a “People’s Trade Treaty,” said it stands with the Greek people and the SYRIZA government against the "destructive consequences of neoliberal transnational capital," which regional organization said looks to subvert Greek democracy through financial measures.

Australians to rally for Greece, against blackmail


Sydney protest in solidarity with Greece, June 28. Photo by Peter Boyle

Protests are being planned in the Australian cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Armidale and Brisbane in coming days in support of the Greek people and its elected SYRIZA-led government.

Morales praises social movements for changing Bolivia


Photo: Agencia Boliviana de Información.

Bolivia's President Evo Morales highlighted the importance of social movements in driving the changes and the economic growth experienced by the South American country in recent years.

The socialist leader, Bolivia's first-ever indigenous head of state, said on June 25 that Bolivia now had greater economic resources available due to the struggle of workers and campesinos.

Honduras: Land rights activists slam campesino killings

Land rights activists in Honduras' north coast Aguan Valley have condemned what they call an ongoing “hunt” of campesinos (small farmers) in their communities.

The activists are calling for freedom for political prisoners and an end to repression of campesino movements.

Family members of jailed and persecuted rural workers have denounced the “dirty and malicious campaign” of criminalisation against campesino leaders and communities. They accuse the national police, and other state and private security forces, of operating as “a gang of hitmen”.

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