Jim McIlroy

GLW author Jim McIlroy

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.

Angry residents 'Rail Against Rail Cuts'

A public meeting of about 100 people in Erskineville Town Hall on July 14 voted unanimously to oppose planned cuts to Sydney rail services and the proposal for a privatised train line as an extension of the Sydney Metro Northwest rail link to the city's north-western suburbs.

The meeting, organised by the Friends of Erskineville residents' group, was called to protest plans by the NSW Coalition government to cut Bankstown Line train services that stop at Erskineville and the growing problem of dangerous overcrowding on the trains.

How you can help get Australia's best progressive weekly out there

“I'd cross the train tracks for this paper.” That was the comment made last week by a friendly man who comes into the Perth Activist Centre every week without fail to buy a copy of Green Left Weekly.

We had to explain to him that he would have to come back the next day, since a courier mistake meant the papers hadn't come in on time. “No problem,” he said. “I'd do whatever it takes, this is the best paper.”

Opposition to WestConnex grows

"Some people think [the WestConnex tollway] can't be stopped. I am not one of those," Dr Michelle Zeibots told an anti-WestConnex rally of around 200 people in Goddard Park, Concord, on July 4. Zeibots, a transport planning expert, was one of a number of speakers at the rally, with the theme: "WestConnex Independence Day: Save Our City".

"The [NSW state] government can't even present a business case for this project. More than $15 billion of public money is being spent on a private road, rather than on public transport.

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