Australia

Union collaborates in attacks on New Zealand Steel workers

By Tom Peters, 29 August 2015

BlueScope Steel is threatening to shut down its Glenbrook steel plant in New Zealand and axe over 1,000 jobs.

Australia: Melbourne tram drivers strike over wages and conditions

By our correspondents, 29 August 2015

Despite denunciations by the Victorian state Labor government, metropolitan train drivers have voted for a similar stoppage next Friday.

Australia: Hutchison Ports dispute at the crossroads

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 29 August 2015

Left in the hands of the MUA, the outcome is a foregone conclusion: the further destruction of the jobs and conditions of waterfront workers.

Australian “Anzac Day terror plot” charge dropped

By Mike Head, 28 August 2015

The collapse of the case exposes the lurid allegations of an “ISIS-inspired” conspiracy by Melbourne teenagers to conduct mass shootings at official World War I centenary celebrations.

Australian “reform summit” highlights economic and political fragility

By Mike Head, 27 August 2015

The purpose of the “extraordinary gathering” was to use the “urgency” of the global slump to drive through a new wave of attacks on jobs and living standards.

Australia: BlueScope Steel demands mass job cuts under threat of plant closure

By Terry Cook, 26 August 2015

The Australian Workers Union has immediately signalled that it will help impose BlueScope Steel’s job-cutting measures.

“Reform summit” to discuss stepped up class war in Australia

By James Cogan, 26 August 2015

Underlying the declarations of “urgency” is the rapid deterioration of Australia’s economic position.

Australian by-election becomes test of Abbott’s leadership

By Mike Head, 25 August 2015

Soaring unemployment in Western Australia underscores Australian capitalism’s sharp economic reversal, placing intense corporate pressure on Abbott.

Australia called on to join illegal US military operations in Syria

By James Cogan, 22 August 2015

Australia has a long history of participating in Washington’s criminal wars in the Middle East.

Dispute over coal mine highlights Australian political turmoil

By Mike Head, 21 August 2015

The Abbott government’s frenzied response to the Adani case reflects the intensifying pressure from the corporate elite for the dismantling of all barriers to increased profits.

Royal Commission debacle compounds Australian government crisis

By Mike Head, 20 August 2015

At the heart of the Dyson Heydon affair is the escalating dissatisfaction of the corporate elite with the Abbott government for failing to carry through the austerity agenda.

Australian transport union calls off Melbourne train and tram strike

By Terry Cook, 20 August 2015

The state Labor government reacted with undisguised hostility to the prospect of the first public transport strike in Melbourne since 1997.

Australian union sells out Woolworths warehouse strikers

By our correspondents, 19 August 2015

After isolating the walkout and telling workers that they could face crippling fines, the NUW pushed through a return-to-work vote.

Australian maritime union in talks with Hutchison to impose cost-cutting

By Mike Head, 18 August 2015

The MUA celebrated the “pleasing” fact that Hutchison agreed to hold “formal talks” on how to cut jobs and conditions.

Australian wharfies voice concerns about MUA sellout of Hutchison strike

By our reporters, 17 August 2015

In a move that directly mirrored its betrayal of the 1998 waterfront dispute, the union shut down the strike after obtaining a court ruling that left the sacked wharfies outside the company gates.

Sacked Hutchison workers barred entry after Australian union sells out strike

By Richard Phillips, 15 August 2015

The court ruling gave the union precisely what it wanted: to shut down the strike and demobilise workers, while it manoeuvres for a negotiated job-cutting deal.

Australia: Union officials force SEP supporters off Sydney dock picket

By Zac Hambides, 15 August 2015

The unions are trying to silence criticism because they cannot answer the truth—they are carrying out a betrayal of the Hutchison workers.

Melbourne transport workers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 15 August 2015

After almost unanimous votes for industrial action, the union is seeking to cobble together a sellout deal with the state Labor government.

Australian government in turmoil as economic pressures intensify

By Mike Head, 15 August 2015

The corporate elite is venting its frustration at the Abbott government’s failure to deliver a far deeper onslaught on workers’ living standards.

Australian waterfront union betrays Hutchison strike

By Mike Head, 14 August 2015

While claiming a “victory,” as it did in 1998, the MUA is sending the Hutchison Ports workers back to work today, with many to lose their jobs.

Australian dock union goes to court to seek deal on Hutchison sackings

By Mike Head, 13 August 2015

The MUA’s move is similar to its legal manoeuvre in the union’s historic sellout of the 1998 waterfront dispute.

Australian warehouse workers defy court order to end strike

By our correspondents, 13 August 2015

The Woolworths workers have become the second group of strikers currently defying return to work orders, following similar votes by Hutchison Port workers Brisbane and Sydney.

Hutchison Ports’ sackings in Australia and the global restructuring of the docks

By Mike Head, 12 August 2015

Hutchison is rolling out remotely-controlled automated terminals around the world, ruthlessly destroying jobs and conditions.

Oppose the political censorship of the IYSSE at Australian universities!

Oppose war and austerity! Defend democratic rights!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 12 August 2015

The IYSSE has been subjected to unprecedented acts of political censorship at a number of universities around Australia.

Port Botany and Brisbane workers oppose Hutchison’s mass sackings

By our reporters, 11 August 2015

Striking workers at Hutchison container terminals in Sydney and Brisbane spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the job cuts by the multi-million dollar corporation and the dangers now facing the working class.

Economic downturn intensifies Australian political crisis

By Mike Head, 11 August 2015

A worsening economic situation is fuelling corporate discontent with the Abbott government and the entire political system.

Hutchison workers continue strike as Australian union calls for “negotiated” job cuts

By Richard Phillips, 11 August 2015

The MUA has responded to an industrial commission return-to-work directive by denying it has any involvement in the waterfront walkout.

Australian Federal Police aid Sri Lankan unit implicated in torture

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 August 2015

The AFP has provided equipment and training to Sri Lanka’s CID, long accused of kidnappings and human rights abuses.

Sacked Hutchison workers speak out

By our reporters, 10 August 2015

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke with sacked Hutchison Port Australia workers at Sydney’s Port Botany terminal over the past two days. Workers described Hutchison’s high-productivity regime and how the company lured workers from various stevedoring companies, as well as airline, manufacturing and logistics businesses, promising them long-term employment.

Hutchison Australia waterfront workers continue strike action

By Richard Phillips, 10 August 2015

No faith can be placed in the union, which has collaborated with waterfront companies for decades in restructuring that has destroyed thousands of jobs.

Australian government budgets target working class suburbs

By Cheryl McDermid, 10 August 2015

NATSEM research shows that the poorest suburbs are the worst affected by the budgets.

Hutchison Ports axes half its Australian workforce

By Richard Phillips, 8 August 2015

The maritime union has appealed to the global stevedoring corporation for negotiations on its multi-million dollar cost-cutting plans.

Australian waterfront workers denounce job cuts

By our reporters, 8 August 2015

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke with wharfies and waterfront maintenance workers at a protest outside Hutchison’s Port Botany container terminal in Sydney yesterday. It followed the late-night sacking almost 100 HPH employees nationally.

Australian business demands deeper cuts to wages and conditions

By Mike Head, 7 August 2015

The Productivity Commission report sets out a framework for cutting wages and conditions to the levels already imposed on workers in Europe and America.

Australian state Labor government wracked by factional turmoil

By Patrick Kelly, 7 August 2015

The political crisis in Victoria is being fuelled by mounting dissatisfaction in corporate circles with the government.

Australian government announces $89 billion naval expansion

By Peter Symonds, 5 August 2015

The naval build-up is an integral part of the military preparations by the US and its allies throughout Asia for war against China.

Australian job cuts mount

By our reporter, 4 August 2015

Thousands more mining-related workers are expected to lose their jobs during the next 12 months, with the impact spreading across the country.

Australian parliamentary speaker resigns amid scandal over helicopter ride

By Peter Symonds, 3 August 2015

Bronwyn Bishop was compelled to step down, above all, because her extravagant spending became a focus for public hostility toward the entire parliamentary set-up.

Australian unions promote anti-Chinese nationalism

By our reporters, 1 August 2015

Amid growing unemployment, union leaders are staging protests to denounce a Free Trade Agreement with China.

Australia: Two highly-politicised arrests of “foreign fighters”

By Mike Head, 31 July 2015

Both arrests serve definite political purposes bound up with the fraudulent “war on terrorism.”

Youth and workers in Australia speak about the Greek crisis

By our reporters, 28 July 2015

Workers, students and youth attending SEP meetings in Melbourne and Sydney on Sunday spoke with World Socialist Web Site reporters about developments in Greece, the role of Syriza and other issues.

US Department of Homeland Security spied on Black Lives Matter protesters

By Josh Varlin, 28 July 2015

Homeland Security has been spying on Black Lives Matter protesters since the police killing of Michael Brown in August 2014.

Australia: Sydney’s median house price tops $1 million

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 July 2015

The housing bubble, fueled by a frenzy of speculative investment, has led to obscene house prices, well beyond the reach of working people.

Australian SEP meetings discuss political issues posed by Syriza’s betrayal in Greece

By our reporters, 28 July 2015

The SEP meetings were the only public events in Australia to expose Syriza’s craven capitulation to German banks and the financial elites.

Australian Labor Party conference shores up party leader

By Mike Head, 27 July 2015

The gathering shifted Labor even further to the right amid a rapidly deteriorating economy and escalating US aggression toward China.

Australian Labor leader delivers pitch to big business at party conference

By Patrick Kelly, 25 July 2015

Bill Shorten’s speech aimed at winning the backing of key sections of the ruling elite by pledging to enforce “tough” pro-business policies, including cuts to public spending.

Bipartisan agreement on austerity at Australian premiers’ summit

By Mike Head, 24 July 2015

The assembled Labor and Coalition leaders were unanimous about finding ways to enforce deep cuts to social spending and living standards.

Australian Labor leader insists on turning back refugee boats

By Mike Head, 23 July 2015

By adopting the Abbott government’s regressive policy, Bill Shorten also sent a wider signal of his determination to shift Labor further to the right across the board.

Workers in Australia condemn Syriza and austerity in Greece

By our correspondents, 22 July 2015

“Greece is in conditions of war again, not a military war, but it’s akin to war—the type of poverty imposed on them.”

Large police mobilisation at right-wing Reclaim Australia rallies

By James Cogan, 20 July 2015

Reclaim Australia has been emboldened by the climate of anti-terrorism hysteria whipped up by the political establishment and the media.

Australian banking system vulnerable to global economic shocks

By James Cogan, 17 July 2015

A perfect storm is developing, leading towards a meltdown in the utterly speculative forms of wealth accumulation of the Australian ruling class.

Australian economic summit to plan new attacks on wages and social conditions

By Nick Beams, 16 July 2015

The Australian Financial Review, one of the summit’s convenors, recalled the achievements of the prices and incomes accord of the Hawke Labor government in cutting real wages.

Australian Greens senator talks of war with China

By James Cogan, 15 July 2015

Scott Ludlam epitomises the cynical manner in which a layer of the Greens occasionally pose as “left” and “anti-war.”

Australian police, spy agencies flocked to Italian hacking company

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2015

The revelation that numbers of Australian police and spy agencies sought out the Italian Hacking Team is of a piece with a broader assault on democratic rights.

Report urges closer US-Australian military collaboration against China

By Peter Symonds, 14 July 2015

The joint US-Australian think tank report documents the extent to which Australia has already become a major base of operations for the US military in Asia.

WikiLeaks email release reveals hacking by governments worldwide

By Mike Head, 13 July 2015

At least 46 countries are identified as seeking Hacking Team software to secretly access and monitor computers and smart phones.

Hypocrisy all round as Australian Labor leader testifies at royal commission

By Mike Head, 10 July 2015

There is nervousness in ruling circles about the potential of the revelations to intensify the popular hostility toward the entire political establishment.

Australian state government to slash hundreds of electricity jobs

By Terry Cook, 10 July 2015

Networks NSW jobs are being eliminated to cut costs and make the sale of its businesses more attractive to potential buyers.

Labor leader pledges support for further privatisations

By Terry Cook, 10 July 2015

New South Wales Labor Opposition leader Luke Foley dedicated a substantial part of his state budget reply speech last month to assure the financial elite that Labor, in or out of office, remained the privatisation party par excellence.

Australian prison riot highlights spiralling detention rates

By Patrick Kelly, 9 July 2015

Skyrocketing inmate numbers and deteriorating conditions have created an explosive crisis throughout the prison system.

Factional rival Turnbull publicly condemns policies of Australian prime minister

By James Cogan, 8 July 2015

Malcolm Turnbull sought to portray himself as a cultured “liberal” statesman and a defender of democratic rights.

Australia: The political fraud of constitutional “recognition” for Aborigines

By Mike Head, 8 July 2015

Aboriginal people, like the rest of the working class, are facing a wholesale onslaught on essential services, living conditions and basic rights.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation censures “Q&A” producer

By Oliver Campbell, 6 July 2015

The ABC board is attempting to appease the Abbott government and the Murdoch media by attacking the democratic rights of its staff.

Unemployed forced to “work for the dole” in Australia

By Zac Hambides, 6 July 2015

Thousands of unemployed workers are now being forced to carry out unpaid work in exchange for welfare payments.

Australia Post to axe another 1,900 jobs in preparation for privatisation

By Keith Morgan, 4 July 2015

The claim of mail business losses is a smokescreen to eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs over the next three years.

World medical body denounces Australia’s refugee detention censorship law

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2015

The new law makes it a crime, punishable with two years in jail, to publicly reveal information about the conditions in Australia’s refugee detention camps.

Australian pseudo-left hails Syriza’s fraudulent referendum in Greece

By Oliver Campbell, 4 July 2015

Socialist Alternative’s promotion of the Greek referendum is an attempt to prevent the working class drawing any lessons from its experiences with the Syriza government.

Inequality in Australia rising at one of world’s fastest rates

By Cheryl McDermid, 3 July 2015

Australia’s mining boom benefited a tiny elite at the top of the income table.

The hypocrisy of the attack on the ABC

Murdoch’s Australian media put Zaky Mallah “up in lights”

By James Cogan, 3 July 2015

In 2012, today’s “terrorist” was a propagandist for Syrian “freedom fighters.”

Detention centre staff defy Australian government’s refugee censorship laws

By Will Morrow, 2 July 2015

Medical professionals and former staff in Australia’s refugee detention network have challenged the new “Border Force Act.”

Backlash mounts against government attack on Australian Broadcasting Corporation

By James Cogan, 1 July 2015

There is growing public disquiet over the government’s hysterical attack on the ABC and endless rhetoric about terrorism.

Budget bipartisanship in Australia: Labor backs more Abbott government cuts

By Mike Head, 1 July 2015

Labor leader Shorten helped push through a fuel excise increase that will raise $3.6 billion from motorists over the next five years.

The case of Zaky Mallah and the witch-hunt against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

By Mike Head, 30 June 2015

After being acquitted by a jury on two trumped-up terrorism charges, Mallah was uniquely qualified to ask a question about handing the government power to revoke citizenship by ministerial decree.

Australia: Fire inquest told Bankstown apartment block still unsafe

By Richard Phillips, 30 June 2015

The long-delayed inquest into the Euro Terraces apartment fire that killed a student and badly injured another began hearings this month.

Australian government intensifies political assault on the ABC

By Richard Phillips, 29 June 2015

The campaign is aimed at intimidating ABC journalists and producers and transforming the network into a direct government mouthpiece.

Australian Labor leader pledges loyalty to government’s assault on democratic rights

By Mike Head, 27 June 2015

Labor helped ram through an anti-refugee bill amid an escalating terrorist fear campaign by the government and the corporate media.

Australian pseudo-lefts hail advance of US-backed Islamists in Syria

By Oliver Campbell, 27 June 2015

Socialist Alternative continues its public support for the US-led regime-change operation against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Abbott government calls for sackings at Australian Broadcasting Corporation

By Nick Beams, 26 June 2015

The ABC is mounting a defence of free speech on its knees, having accepted the essential premise of the Abbott government’s attack.

Behind the political furore over the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

By James Cogan, 25 June 2015

Prime Minister Abbott will accept nothing less than the complete refashioning of the ABC into an unabashed propaganda arm of his government.

Australian government unveils bill to revoke citizenship by ministerial decree

By Mike Head, 25 June 2015

The legislation could be used to terminate the fundamental political and civil rights of many people, including those opposing war.

Oppose political censorship at the University of Western Sydney!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 25 June 2015

In violation of basic democratic rights, university officials are seeking to vet IYSSE leaflets and identify students circulating them.

Australia: The live exchange on ABC television’s “Q&A”

By Nick Beams, 24 June 2015

Monday night’s “Q&A” program witnessed the deeply reactionary outlook driving the “war on terror.”

Australian government deepens attack on free speech and democratic rights

By Nick Beams, 24 June 2015

The attack on the ABC by “liberal” Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is his second such intervention against the right of free speech in two months.

Australian treasurer denies housing affordability crisis

By Terry Cook, 24 June 2015

Rampant speculation by banks and property developers, encouraged by government tax breaks, has produced an astronomical increase in housing prices.

Australian Labor leader defends “modern” union deals to boost corporate profits

By Mike Head, 23 June 2015

Bill Shorten spelt out the role of the trade unions as industrial police forces over their members.

Australian prime minister launches new attack on democratic rights

By Nick Beams, 22 June 2015

Abbott’s claim to interpret the will of the nation, as he advocated doing away with legal rights, contained more than a whiff of Nazi ideology.

Australia: Political cover-up over Sydney siege continues

By Richard Phillips and Peter Symonds, 22 June 2015

The coronial inquest fails to examine the siege gunman’s relations with Australian intelligence agencies.

War dangers in South China Sea continue to rise

By James Cogan, 20 June 2015

Military deployments are taking place in Asia that would be viewed in China as preparations for a potential provocation.

Australian Greens back Abbott government’s deep pension cuts

By Mike Head, 18 June 2015

The Greens sent a clear message of their readiness to play a central role in imposing austerity measures on the working class.

Australian Labor leader under fire over “sweetheart” deals with employers

By Mike Head, 17 June 2015

The posturing of both the prime minister and opposition leader as defenders of low-paid workers reeks of hypocrisy.

Australian cleaners denied penalty rates by trade union for more than a decade

By our reporters, 17 June 2015

Cleanevent workers speak to the WSWS about their poor pay and conditions, and the role of the Australian Workers Union.

Australia: Former Rudd and Gillard Labor governments also accused of paying “people smugglers”

By James Cogan, 16 June 2015

What has risen to the surface is just one aspect of the ruthless and criminal policy of “border protection.”

Australian government tacitly admits payments to “people smugglers”

By James Cogan, 15 June 2015

Indonesian police are investigating the allegations, which legal experts believe could be violations of Australian, Indonesian and international law.

Australia: Tony Abbott’s government accused of paying “people smugglers”

By James Cogan, 13 June 2015

The issue of stopping “people smugglers” is at the very core of Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott’s prime ministership.

Citizenship and the assault on democratic rights

By Mike Head, 13 June 2015

The world’s governments are moving to overturn the most fundamental political right, that of citizenship.

Gloomy outlook on Australian economy from central banker

By Nick Beams, 12 June 2015

Ongoing global stagnation is increasingly impacting on the Australian economy.