Workers at Esso’s Longford gas plant in Victoria have been picketing for more than 470 days after the company sacked 230 workers and demanded they reapply for their jobs under a new agreement that would slash pay and conditions.
Workers from five Alcoa sites throughout Western Australia voted at a mass meeting in Pinjarra on September 28 to end their seven-week strike. The vote occurred after the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), which covers the 1600 Alcoa workers, secured an agreement guaranteeing job security and ensuring that no workers would be replaced through casualisation, contracting or labour-hire companies.
Tory-supporting media have been portraying Britain’s socialist Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as a Soviet fellow-traveller. Meanwhile, Hilary Wainwright notes, Labour’s shadow chancellor and close Corbyn ally sets out a vision that breaks with the old bureaucratic state model.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell can usually barely breathe a word about nationalisation without setting off a media frenzy, so it’s strange that his most interesting comments yet on the subject passed with so little comment.
The second Working Women Get Organised conference will be held in Geelong on October 13, following a successful inaugural event last year.
An indefinite strike by 1600 Alcoa workers in Western Australia that began on August 8 has entered a new stage with the start of a Fair Work Commission (FWC) hearing in which the company is seeking to terminate the existing enterprise agreement. If the company's move is successful, workers at the multi-billion dollar company’s aluminium refineries and bauxite mines would be forced onto an inferior agreement that offers no job security and a possible wage cut of up to 50%.
The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), several other trade unions and the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) have slammed as “humiliating” and “beggarly” the new Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) federal government's announcement that it would increase the country's minimum wage by just RM50 (A$17) a month to RM1050 ($350) from January 2019.
Unions are considering calling a mass workers' protest.
Prisoners in many states in the US began a coordinated national strike on August 21, the anniversary of the 1971 killing of Black Panther member and prison activist George Jackson by guards in an escape attempt at San Quentin prison in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In the context a mass radicalisation led by Blacks and youth, the incident became a cause célèbre in its day.
Up to 5000 unionists marched through Sydney’s CBD on September 6 to demand the right to strike and the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
A study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on labour relations in 26 developed economies, including Australia, has confirmed that workers’ real wages have fallen because labour market deregulation has “gone too far”.
The IMF researchers noted the “statistically significant, economically large and robust negative effect of deregulation” on labour’s share of national income, with workers’ share of national income falling drastically from 1975 to 2015.
Australia Workers' Union (AWU) members at Alcoa refinery plants and bauxite mines in Western Australia have been on strike since August 8. At stake in the dispute is the job security of 1600 workers. To mark the strike’s 20th day, site meetings were held on August 27 at the ongoing picket lines set up outside Alcoa workplaces in Pinjarra, Kwinana, Wagerup, Huntley and Willowdale.