anti-corporate

Workers call for developer to pay debts

A builder who donated $200,000 to the Liberal Party last year has gone into administration owing sub-contractors and suppliers an estimated $30 million. The collapse of Steve Nolan Constructions affects five building sites in the northern suburbs of Lindfield, St Leonards, Roseville and Gordon, where apartment blocks are being built for developer, the Ralan Group.

Venezuela: Gov't applies new prices, profits law

The period allowed for businesses to adjust their prices to the government's new “fair prices” law ended on February 10. The government has a wave of inspections planned to ensure the measure is applied.

The Law for the Control of Fair Costs, Prices and Profits aims to stop price speculation, product hoarding and other activities that are destabilising the Venezuelan economy and contributing to its ongoing economic problems.

Further, a maximum profit margin of 30% has been established across the economy to stop companies over-charging.

Venezuela threatened by far-right violence

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network released the statement below on February 13.

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The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network condemns the recent violent actions instigated by far-right sections of the opposition in various cities across Venezuela.

The first opposition-led protests were initiated on February 4 in the city of San Cristobal, in the western state of Tachira. Two students were arrested for alleged breach of the peace during a demonstration. The students were released the next day.

Venezuela: Right-wing provokes violence in time-worn practice

History repeats itself. The time-worn tactic of the dominant class that controls the spread of information is to provoke violence and then blame it on the enemy, usually those who struggle for change.

Nero did it when he burned down much of Rome and blamed it on the Christians. Similarly, US newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst used the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898 to create war fervour that led to war with Spain.

Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution under threat

The statement below was released by the British-based Hands Off Venezuela.

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After days of violent opposition demonstrations in several cities of Venezuela, February 12 had been billed as the “D Day” of an offensive to overthrow the democratically elected Nicolas Maduro government.

Authors take on harmful chemicals

Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies
Bruce Lourie & Rick Smith
University of Queensland Press, 2013
289 pages

The intrepid, and possibly just a little mad, environmental advocates Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith, are up to their old chemical tricks again in Toxin Toxout.

Westpac the world’s most sustainable firm? That’s a bad joke

If you want evidence that the corporate rich are turning “sustainable” into a dirty word, then consider the recent award won by Australian bank Westpac. At last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the bank was named the most sustainable company in the world.

Mark Steel: Forget benefit rorts, what about bonuses?

I wonder how useless you have to be as a banker before they don’t give you a bonus.

If you turned up for work drunk on Special Brew and Dubonnet, and wet yourself over the computers causing the FTSE to short circuit, bankrupting Brazil and forcing the defence ministry to pawn its tanks at a Cash Converters in Southend, maybe they’d say: “You get just half a million this year, until you wipe yourself down with a sponge.”

Venezuela: 'Strengthen communal economy' says national conference

Representatives from 225 communes met over January 31 to February 1 in Barinas in western Venezuela to discuss strengthening the communal economy.

Communes are made up of elected representatives from the communal councils, grassroots bodies that bring together local neighbourhoods.

The conference was called and organised by the Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ). The CRBZ is a current in the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

South Africa: Metal workers lead left break to ANC

The decision of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to cut ties with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has been badly analysed.

Comment has tended to focus on the possibility of a new political party in 2019, or whether suspended general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Zwelinzima Vavi will get his job back.

But the greater significance of the biggest trade union in the country throwing in its lot with a growing movement in opposition to the neoliberal order, and thus to the left of the ANC, is being missed.

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