Jim McIlroy

GLW author Jim McIlroy

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MUA rally targets cruise ship company in Sydney

Around 100 members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) rallied at the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay on October 9 to oppose harsh exploitation of crews aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and demand the right of employees and linesmen on the dock to be union members.

Sydney MUA secretary Paul McAleer told the rally: "This cruise company imposes a huge level of exploitation on its crews, including underpayment and poor conditions on board. Up to now, the company and the shipping agents, Port Jackson Holdings, have refused to allow port workers to join the union.

Hutchison workers push for settlement

Workers at the Hutchison Ports community assembly at Port Botany, Sydney, are holding strong and are keen to settle the long-running dispute with management.

The dispute began on August 6 following the sacking of 97 waterside workers by Hutchison at their Port Botany and Brisbane terminals.

Since them, the community assembly has held strong for nine weeks as talks continue between the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and management.

NSW gov't forks over millions to developers — again

The New South Wales state government is giving away huge amounts of taxpayers’ money to big business through its wholesale sell-off of state-owned property. The losses include a higher rental bill for office space to house NSW public service departments.

Government Property NSW plans to sell $865 million worth of buildings in 2015-16. This is more than double the $346 million in state property sold last financial year.

'Hands off TAFE' day held in NSW

A “Hands off TAFE” day of action to stop the further privatisation of the TAFE system in NSW was held on October 12.

The day of action, called by Greens NSW and supported by teachers, students and community members, involved protest actions outside TAFE colleges and in shopping centres in Sydney and regional towns across NSW.

The actions mobilised public opposition to the state government’s plans to privatise more than one-third of TAFEs, and the loss of teaching and support jobs, the reduction in contact hours, the cutting of courses and increases in course fees.

Hutchison ready for talks on new EBA with MUA

Talks are continuing in the Fair Work Commission between the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Hutchison Ports over the sacking of 97 waterside workers on August 6. Meanwhile, community assemblies are being maintained outside the gates of Hutchison terminals at Port Botany and the Port of Brisbane.

The company has said it is seeking a new enterprise agreement with the union, and has agreed to pay wages to the sacked workers until at least mid-November.

Electrical union slams plan for job cuts, privatisation

A leaked management briefing from New South Wales government-owned electricity network business Ausgrid has revealed a plan to slash jobs, close local depots, axe apprenticeships, sell off state-of-the-art training facilities and outsource call centres all in the lead-up to the privatisation of the company.

The state government is committed to selling off 50.4% of Ausgrid on a 99-year lease in 2016.

Baird government prepares fire sale of harbour assets

The New South Wales government is preparing a fire sale of state-owned properties around the Sydney Harbour foreshore, on the pretext of funding an upgrade of the Circular Quay ferry wharves.

Premier Mike Baird announced on September 28 that government-owned hotels and office buildings would be sold to raise $200 million for the renovation project.

Hutchison assemblies holding firm

"This morning marks 50 days since the start of this important dispute," Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Sydney branch assistant secretary Paul Garrett told Green Left Weekly on September 25.

He was speaking at the community assembly outside the Hutchison Ports terminal at Port Botany, which was set up after the company's sudden sacking of 97 waterside workers by text and email on August 6.

Malcolm Turnbull: 'Australia's worst ever communications minister'

“When it comes to technology policy, [now Prime Minister] Malcolm Turnbull has been a disaster. The Member for Wentworth will be remembered as Australia's worst ever Communications Minister — the man who single handedly demolished the NBN [National Broadband Network] and put a polite face on draconian Data Retention and Internet Piracy Laws.”