Jim McIlroy

GLW author Jim McIlroy

Sydney cleaners rally for 'Clean Start'

A group of about 30 cleaners rallied outside the Brookfield offices on May 5 to demand a fair deal and an end to super-exploitation. The rally was organised by the Clean Start campaign, supported by the United Voice union.

The cleaners chanted, "What do we want? Clean Start! When do we want it? Now."

The building owners, Brookfield, had recently appointed TFM as a new cleaning contractor. TFM advertised cleaning jobs in the building for $15 an hour — less than the minimum wage — and demanded a $500 payment to get the job.

Defend and extend age pension system

Australia's age pension system is under attack from the federal government and right-wing, neoliberal forces. The whole community, current and future retirees, needs to mobilise to defend and extend the age pension system and change the superannuation system to more adequately meet the needs of working people.

The age pension in Australia dates back to 1909. It was established as a non-contributory scheme, largely as a result of the demands of unions and community pressure.

Social democracy's past and present dissected in new book

A Short History Of Social Democracy: From Socialist Origins To Neoliberal Theocracy
By John Rainford
Resistance Books
$20, 184pp.

The rise and then fall of social democracy as a movement for fundamental social change is a modern tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It is one of the epic stories of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Baird to be questioned over NSW power industry sale

NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird is likely to be called before the parliamentary inquiry into the state government's proposed privatisation of the "poles and wires" of the state's electricity industry in May.

Baird will be questioned over allegations of government tampering with an expert report on the planned leasing of the power industry before the recent March state election.

Sydney rally calls for 'US hands off Venezuela!'

More than 100 people joined a rally at Sydney Town Hall on April 11 to demand "US hands off Venezuela!"

The rally demands were: "No more coups; End foreign intervention; Respect Venezuela's revolution; and Peace in Latin America!"

Sydney rally defends Venezuela against US threat

More than 40 people attended a rally in solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution, under the title "Hands off Venezuela", outside the US consulate in Sydney's Martin Place on March 21.

The Communist Party of Australia organised the rally and it was endorsed by the Australia Cuba Friendship Society (Sydney), Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, Bolivarian Circle, Committee in Defence of Human Rights in Guatemala, Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), Grupo Ibiray-Fondo Raul Sendic, Latin America Social Forum, Salvador Allende Monument Inc and the Socialist Alliance.

Lessons for the No WestConnex campaign

"No West Connex: Public transport is the answer," was the theme of a public forum sponsored by Green Left Weekly on March 17 at the Sydney CBD Resistance Centre. Up to 30 people gathered to hear Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance councillor from Moreland, Melbourne, and Chris Elenor, No WestCONnex activist, discuss issues surrounding the huge toll road projects being pushed in Australia's major cities.

Forum debates Greece and SYRIZA's fight against austerity

"The Greek Elections: What Next? SYRIZA and the fight against austerity," was the theme of a forum, presented by the Department of Political Economy, Sydney University, and the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign, on March 10 at the New Law School. Up to 150 people packed into a lecture theatre to hear a panel of speakers, followed by a lively discussion period on the key issues.

Sydney event celebrates freedom for Cuba Five

About 100 people gathered at the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union hall in Lidcombe on February 27 to celebrate the release of the Cuban Five from prison in the US late last year, and to welcome the new Cuban ambassador to Australia, Jose Manuel Galego. The event was organised by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS).


Medicare co-payment dumped, but battle continues

Health minister Sussan Ley’s announcement that the GP co-payment has been dropped was welcomed by Save Medicare Sydney (SMS). But the group warns: “Medicare is not safe while the rebate remains frozen and the government looks for other ways to dismantle universal health care.”

Jean Parker from SMS said: “Prime Minister [Tony] Abbott and Ley want Medicare bulk-billing to become a safety-net for the ‘vulnerable’.

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