Jim McIlroy

GLW author Jim McIlroy

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.

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.

NSW budget rides on 'housing tax' windfall

"The NSW Coalition government's 2015 budget has a massive 'housing sales tax' windfall from stamp duty arising from the Sydney housing bubble," Susan Price, Socialist Alliance candidate in the recent NSW state elections, said on June 24.

The government expects to reap more than $30 billion in stamp duty in the next four years, but the budget papers note that the cyclical nature of the property market means that revenue source is "inherently volatile".

CPSU's 'once in a generation' strike

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has launched a wave of half-day stoppages, and other industrial action, in support of its campaign against the Tony Abbott government's attacks on wages, rights and working conditions.

"This is the largest industrial action taken by Commonwealth public servants in a generation," Nadine Flood, national secretary of the CPSU, told a mass meeting of about 500 workers in the Sydney Masonic Centre on June 18.

Protesters target NSW Minerals Council conference

About 40 protesters gathered outside NSW state parliament on June 17 to oppose the NSW Minerals Council’s "Beyond the Rocks Conference" being held in partnership with the Baird state government.

They called for the council, representing multinational corporations such as Whitehaven Coal and Rio Tinto, to support a transition away from the destructive coal export industry.

Protesters carried banners and placards with message such as "Minerals Council Conference: 1. Lies about coal. 2. Lies about CSG. 3. Lunch."

The rally was called by Front Line Action on Coal.

Glebe housing development 'a disgrace': Public housing activist

On June 14, NSW Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard unveiled plans for a $170 million development on the inner-Sydney Cowper Street, Glebe, block, which has lain vacant since the previous state Labor government demolished a low-rise public housing estate on the site in 2011.

According to the government's plan, the new 500-apartment development would include about 250 private apartments, 150 public or social housing units and about 100 "affordable housing" apartments, reserved for "essential workers", such as nurses or teachers.

NSW power sell-off bill passed, no job guarantees

Legislation allowing the 99-year lease — effectively privatisation — of the majority of the NSW electricity network passed through state parliament on June 3. The bill was passed through the Legislative Council, after more than 60 amendments were debated, with the support of Rev Fred Nile's Christian Democrats.

Labor and the Greens opposed the bill. Labor leader in the Legislative Council Adam Searle said on June 3 that the outcome showed a debasing of parliamentary process:

Nile pawn in Baird government power sell off

The Baird Coalition government is rushing its legislation for the privatisation of NSW power assets through the Legislative Assembly, without waiting for the report of the Legislative Council’s inquiry into the sell-off, due on June 2.

The move to fast track the bill before the inquiry, chaired by Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile, releases its report, exposes the inquiry as a sham, according to Greens NSW MLC John Kaye. Premier Mike Baird has ridden roughshod over the process and denied the public a proper investigation into the long-term impacts of the sale.

Meeting plans Australian solidarity for Venezuela and Latin America

Members of Latin American solidarity organisations from various Australian cities met in Canberra on May 9 for a Gathering in Solidarity with Latin American Struggles and in Defence of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. Around 40 representatives attended from Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

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