Jim McIlroy

GLW author Jim McIlroy

MUA wins another round in Hutchison Ports fight

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Hutchison Ports management agreed on August 28 to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which will result in all sacked workers at Port Botany and Port of Brisbane being reinstated for a further six weeks from August 31.

Vale John Percy — veteran socialist activist

John Percy, veteran socialist, died on August 19 in Sydney, aged 69. He was a co-founder of the revolutionary youth organisation Resistance and the Socialist Workers Party, later the Democratic Socialist Party.

John, together with his brother Jim, began his political career as a student activist at Sydney University in the mid-1960s in the growing movement against the Vietnam War.

MUA’s battle for jobs intensifies at Hutchison Ports

The battle continues at Hutchison Ports terminals in Sydney and Brisbane against the sacking of 97 waterside workers by the company on August 6.

The campaign for reinstatement of the workers and for the defence of jobs on the waterfront refuses to die.

Community assembly continues at Hutchisons

Workers from DP World and Patricks are continuing to drop by the community assembly at Hutchisons Ports at Port Botany. Supporters are urged to come down and join them at the corner Sirius and Foreshore Roads, Port Botany — day or night.

Meanwhile, talks are underway between the Maritime Union of Australia and Hutchisons’ senior management. Workers are quietly hopeful, but determined to stand united for a fair result.

MUA wins in court: ‘The fight has just begun’

"We have won the first battle in a long war," Paul McAleer, Sydney secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) told a rally of several hundred waterside workers and other unionists at the entrance to the Hutchison Ports terminal at Port Botany on the evening of August 13.

He was speaking as news emerged of the important, if temporary, victory the union had achieved in winning a court injunction to order reinstatement of the sacked Hutchison workers in Sydney and Brisbane.

Sacked Hutchison Ports worker: ‘They told me my job was permanent’


Photo: Peter Boyle

Waterside workers and supporters rallied outside the Port Botany and Port Brisbane terminals of Hutchison Ports on August 7 in protest at the sudden sacking of 97 employees—57 in Sydney and 40 in Brisbane—the previous night.

“Solidarity is the strongest force in the union movement. We will fight this till we win”, Sydney Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) branch secretary Paul McAleer told those assembled.

'Marriage equality and beyond'

After the victories in Ireland and the US, activists are reflecting that Australia too is on the cusp of a victory on marriage equality.

This framed the discussion at a lively forum in Sydney on July 28, entitled "Marriage equality and beyond: Taking the struggle forward".

However, as the speakers noted, the struggle is by no means won, and there are still many challenges facing the LGBTI community. The forum discussed the history and future of the fight for equal marriage rights and the rainbow struggle generally.

Suspend Wollongong Coal’s licence, say activists

About 50 people took part in a lively protest outside the Resources and Energy Division of the NSW Department of Industry on July 22. The protest, organised by Land, Water, Future and Protect Sydney's Water Alliance, was against coalmining in Sydney's water catchment area.

Wollongong Coal has two coalmines in Sydney’s water catchments — Russell Vale and Wongawilli — and is now seeking approval to triple-seam mine under the catchment for Sydney's drinking water. Triple-seam mining has never been tried before in Australia.

Solidarity with seafearers in Devonport

Members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and supporters rallied outside the Caltex Kurnell oil depot on July 20 to support the seafarers on the tanker Alexander Spirit in Devonport Harbour who are campaigning to protect their jobs and conditions.

MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer, MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin, Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon and representatives of the international transport union addressed the protest.

Public servants continue industrial action

Strike action is continuing across the federal public service as staff campaign for fair pay and conditions against the Abbott government's harsh attack on wages, jobs and rights. Most recently, public servants at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority have voted to strike, joining their colleagues at copyright agency IP Australia who voted in the first week of July to take industrial action.

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