Joe Hill was a senior organiser, popular songwriter and cartoonist for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), more commonly known as the Wobblies. The 100th anniversary of his death is being commemorated worldwide this month.

Hill’s life is best remembered in labour movement songs that are still performed today by such renowned artists as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Bruce Springsteen. It could be argued that he is more famous now in death than he ever was in life.

Since late 2005 the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has been included on Australia's list of terrorist organisations. It is illegal for Australian citizens to belong to the PKK, actively support it, raise funds for it or otherwise engage with it. Just this month Australian-Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan was charged in Sydney with being a member of the PKK.

Not even Brahma, the Brazilian multinational beer company, stood a chance. Brahma’s plant in the northern Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto was left to be occupied by its workers, who did not accept being fired when the factory closed, after its shares were sold to billionaire Gustavo Cisneros.

The beer business in Venezuela was strategically designed so that only three brewing companies could become part it, which with the passing of time became two: Empresas Polar, owned by the Mendoza family, and Cerveceria Regional, owned by the Cisneros Group.

Striking French workers demonstrating in in Marseille on May 26.

Mass strikes and protests continued to rock France on May 26 as trade unionists ramped up their campaign against hated new labour laws.

Anyone following French politics in recent years should not be surprised by the recent explosion of public protest and resistance across the country.

For years, France has simmered with a combination of a deeply unpopular government, a limping economy and a struggling, fed up populace.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which involves 12 Pacific rim nations, seriously threatens indigenous land rights, as well as the natural resources they preserve, said United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.

In an interview with the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Tauli-Corpuz said a major issue with the trade deal is “the clause of non-discrimination between a local and an international investor ... [it] grants more rights to transnational firms, often at the expense of indigenous rights”.

A meeting in Rojava's capital, Qamislo, of the Assyrian ethnic minority. Photo from

About 250 people attended a rally on August 4 in solidarity with 55 sacked maintenance workers who had been employed at the Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) plant in Abbotsford.

The workers, members of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, were sacked on June 10. They were told they could re-apply for their jobs with a new contracting company, but that their pay would be cut by 65%.

The rally, held outside the CUB brewery, was attended by members and officials from a wide range of unions.

The Queensland government did not prosecute gas company Santos over that state’s third largest oil spill despite the Department of Environment saying it had sufficient evidence, according to documents obtained by the Wilderness Society.

About 250,000 litres of crude oil was spilled at Santos’s Zeus oil field in the Cooper Creek floodplain south of Windorah in May 2013.

Santos took five days to stop the spill largely because it did not have contingency plans or experts in place and had to fly in an expert team from the United States.

Duncan Hart, a student who works part-time at a Coles supermarket in Brisbane, has won a David and Goliath battle against his employer and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) in the Fair Work Commission.

He claimed the enterprise bargaining agreement between Coles and his union left thousands of workers worse-off than they would be under the award, and was therefore invalid.


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