Jim McIlroy

GLW author Jim McIlroy

Hutchison verdict looms

A resolution of the long-running dispute between the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Hutchison Ports is reported to be near, as the community assemblies continue at the terminals at Port Botany and the Port of Brisbane.

A further hearing in Fair Work Australia is due in the week beginning September 21.

The dispute began on August 6, with the midnight sacking by text and email of 97 waterside workers at the two ports.

Following a Federal Court injunction, the sacked workers are back on the payroll, but are not being rostered on to work.

Public sector vows to continue strike action

In the latest blow to the anti-worker industrial policies of the federal Coalition government, staff in the Department of Human Services (DHS) have voted by 83% to reject an enterprise bargaining agreement offer from management. More than 78% participated in the ballot.

The overwhelming result in DHS follows strong votes in a number of other agencies recently, including Veterans Affairs, IP Australia and Health, to oppose agreements that would have attacked their rights, conditions and take-home pay.

MUA ‘solidarity camps’ hold firm at Hutchison Ports

A community assembly is holding firm outside the Hutchison terminal at Port Botany, with 24-hour attendance and regular gatherings of maritime workers from Hutchison and the other operators, Patricks and DP World. There is a similar assembly at the Port of Brisbane.

The assemblies were established after the provocative sacking of 97 waterfront workers at the two ports at midnight on August 6 and have been maintained as "solidarity camps" ever since. The sackings, imposed via text and email messages, shocked workers in the maritime industry and throughout the whole union movement.

CPSU launches half-day public service strikes

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has launched another round of industrial action, starting with half-day strikes in many Canberra-based public service agencies on September 15.

This is an escalation of its long-running bargaining campaign against the Abbott government. Staff from the Canberra offices of Human Services, the Tax Office, Immigration and Border Protection and Employment will hold a lunch-time rally and half-day walk-outs.

Union urges Human Services staff to vote No

Staff at the federal Department of Human Services (DHS) started voting on a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) on September 4. The public service union strongly recommended a No vote.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has been campaigning hard against new departmental EBA offers that cut wages and conditions.

About 34,000 workers at DHS are set to vote down a management proposal that reflects the Abbott government's hard line against workers and unions in its own workforce, as a test case for wage and conditions cuts throughout all sectors of the economy.

Hutchison assembly stands firm against eviction threat

The community assembly outside the Hutchison terminal at Port Botany is holding firm against a threat by the NSW Port Authority to evict the gathering from the entrance to the facility. There was a similar stand-off at Fishermans Island, Port of Brisbane.

The assemblies have been maintained for more than four weeks to protest against the sacking of 97 waterside workers by the giant Hutchison company, part of the biggest multinational stevedoring corporation in the world.

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.

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