Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

Australian unions isolate miners facing attacks on pay and conditions

By Terry Cook, 15 July 2017

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has restricted the Glencore workers to token stoppages.

Australian cricket pay dispute escalates

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2017

Cricketing administrators are seeking to boost their control over billions of dollars of broadcasting and online streaming revenue.

India: Kerala nurses on state-wide strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 July 2017

The nurses rejected a pay offer of 17,500 rupees, including allowances, from the government and the Private Hospitals Association.

Australian building experts discuss the Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 12 July 2017

“Fire safety is more important than the façade of a building,” building inspector says.

More Australian workers killed in preventable workplace incidents

By Terry Cook, 11 July 2017

The number of industry-related fatalities this year is on track to match or exceed the grim toll in 2016 when 178 workers were killed.

Australian Labor and union leaders seek to head off workers’ discontent

By Mike Head, 7 July 2017

Speeches at last week’s ACTU 90th anniversary dinner signal desperate efforts to promote the return of another pro-business Labor government.

Australian unions help impose cuts to federal pay and conditions

By Terry Cook, 1 July 2017

The unions’ aim was to wear down workers’ resistance and retain their own position at the negotiating table.

Australian Education Union pushes through pro-market workplace agreement in Victoria

By Susan Allan and Linda Tenenbaum, 1 July 2017

Endorsement of the agreement opens the way for an acceleration of the destructive pro-market agenda that has created a systemic crisis in public education.

Electrician falls 75 feet to his death at Detroit construction site

By Kathleen Martin, 29 June 2017

Michael Morrison, 46, died after falling from a catwalk at the Little Caesars sports arena currently under construction in Detroit.

Australian university staff face cuts to pay, jobs and basic rights

By Mike Head, 28 June 2017

Government funding cuts are accelerating the pro-business restructuring of higher education that began three decades ago.

Australian construction union’s bogus campaign against industrial laws

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 June 2017

The CFMEU’s chief aim is to maintain its own privileged seat at the negotiating table and divert mounting anger among construction workers into electoral support for the Labor Party.

The way forward for New Zealand meat workers

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 27 June 2017

A struggle to defend jobs and conditions is only possible through a break with the Meat Workers Union and the Labour Party, the formation of independent workplace committees and a political fight based on a socialist and internationalist program.

Australia: Telstra announces 1,400 job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 June 2017

The sackings are the latest in a series of pro-market restructures that have destroyed up to 6,000 jobs since 2013.

Australian miners strike against Glencore cost-cutting

By Terry Cook, 20 June 2017

Some 1,400 coal miners took industrial action against the transnational mining and resources conglomerate’s attempts to slash working conditions.

Australian state Labor government agrees to subsidise giant coal mine

By Declan O’Malley and Mike Head, 13 June 2017

After weeks of posturing, the Queensland cabinet provided a lucrative royalties handout to Adani.

Australia: Aurizon announces Queensland rail closures

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 June 2017

Up to 300 jobs are set to be eliminated, following hundreds of sackings over the past two years.

Reject unacceptable workloads and standardised testing! Take a stand for public education!

Vote No to the AEU-Labor government sell-out deal in Victoria!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 9 June 2017

The chronic underfunding, under-resourcing and under-staffing of public schools is driving many parents to send their children to private schools.

New Zealand: Wellington transport workers face attacks on jobs and conditions

By our correspondents, 6 June 2017

The Labour Party-dominated Wellington Council has awarded bus and rail contracts to private operators to cut costs at the expense of workers.

“Catastrophic failure” of regulators led to black lung among Australian miners

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 June 2017

Queensland authorities failed to look for, or properly identify, coal miners’ pneumoconiosis for more than 30 years.

Socialist Equality Party forum discusses agenda behind Australian Education Union sell-out deal

By our reporter, 5 June 2017

A clear relationship exists between the anti-democratic, bureaucratic tactics employed by the AEU to obtain a majority “yes” vote and the regressive, pro-market content of its 2017 agreement.

Australian city council locks out electricians for imposing work bans

By Ellen Blake, 3 June 2017

The Brisbane City Council’s aggressive action underscores the determination of governments and employers across the country to dismantle workers’ conditions.

Class struggle developing on Indian sub-continent

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 June 2017

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Australian timber mill slated to close

By Will Morrow, 1 June 2017

The closure, in the state of Victoria, is part of a restructuring by Carter Holt Harvey and other producers across the timber industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 May 2017

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Australian building workers hit by construction company collapse

By Declan O’Malley, 23 May 2017

The Brisbane shut-down is another indicator of the danger of a wider collapse in the residential construction boom, threatening tens of thousands of jobs.

Australia: Teachers explain why the AEU-government deal should be rejected

By our reporters, 22 May 2017

“The union has become the policeman to enforce agreements that sell our conditions down the drain.”

Australia: Contract teacher voices opposition to the AEU-government agreement

By our reporters, 20 May 2017

“I feel as though we’re teaching to a test, and not spending enough time on building our relationship with our students, and building on their strengths.”

SEP and Victorian Teachers and ES Staff Forum

The political issues in the fight against the AEU-Labor government EBA

20 May 2017

The forum on May 28 will present a detailed critique of the Australian Education Union’s sell-out deal with the Andrews Labor government, and clarify why teachers and ES staff should reject it.

Miners walkout in Indonesia and Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

20 May 2017

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Sydney bus drivers strike against privatisation

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 May 2017

The transport union has appealed to the government for “consultation,” underscoring its willingness to collaborate with privatisation.

Australian teachers support campaign against AEU-government deal

By our reporters, 18 May 2017

Teachers who attended recent delegates meetings on the new enterprise agreement voiced support for a “No” vote.

Australia:

Teachers criticise anti-democratic character of AEU delegates’ meetings

By our reporters, 17 May 2017

“I think people voted without understanding the nitty-gritty of the agreement.”

Vote “NO” to the EBA!

Australian Education Union pushes through industrial agreement at delegates’ meetings

By our reporters, 16 May 2017

SEP members and supporters who work in public education are campaigning for a “No” vote among rank-and-file teachers and ES staff.

Australia: Tribunal to hear challenge to union-company wage-cutting deal

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 May 2017

The unions and the major corporations are fearful that the case against the deal threatens the entire pro-business framework of enterprise bargaining.

After Australian journalists’ strike

The political issues facing Fairfax workers

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 May 2017

The end of the week-long strike and the commitment of the media union to resume back-room negotiations for the destruction of jobs, poses major political issues before Fairfax workers.

Australian media union shuts down week-long Fairfax journalists’ strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 May 2017

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, having done everything to contain and weaken the strike, made clear that it will do nothing to oppose the axing of 125 jobs at Fairfax.

Australian rail union responds to Pacific National lockout by resuming talks

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 May 2017

The union will use the negotiating period to try and dissipate anger among freight drivers to the proposed cuts to their wages and conditions.

Australia: Fairfax journalists strike, but union appeals to corporate investors

By our correspondents, 6 May 2017

The sackings, which follow almost a decade of cost-cutting, will eviscerate Fairfax Media newspapers and lead to further job destruction.

Australian Fairfax journalists strike for a week over job destruction

By Mike Head, 4 May 2017

By launching the longest strike by editorial staff in recent history, the Fairfax workers are taking a stand against the ongoing demolition of jobs by the financial elite.

Teachers oppose Australian Education Union sell-out deal at Victorian delegates meeting

By our reporters, 3 May 2017

The Melbourne meeting revealed mounting hostility among teachers to the union’s bureaucratic methods and to the agreement itself.

Australia: Growing opposition to sell-out agreement among Victorian teachers and support staff

By our reporters, 29 April 2017

Teachers from at least five schools have convened meetings to reject the agreement between the Australian Education Union and the Victorian state Labor government.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 April 2017

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 April 2017

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Australian worker challenges union-company wage-cutting deal

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 April 2017

The agreement struck between the SDA and Coles saved the supermarket giant tens of millions of dollars.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 April 2017

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Australia: Victorian teachers denounce union-backed agreement

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

The AEU has sought to suppress discussion of its latest sell-out, while falsely claiming it is a “victory” for teachers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 April 2017

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Australian teachers’ agreement: The reality behind union “victory” claims

By Susan Allan, 6 April 2017

On every key issue the teachers’ union and the Victorian Labor government have worked together to entrench and deepen the assault on the public education system.

Australia: Labor and unions facilitate Hazelwood power station closure

By Frank Gaglioti, 5 April 2017

The shutdown will exacerbate the social crisis in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, which has already been hit by decades of job cuts in the energy sector.

Australian government withholds report on death of unemployed teenager

By John Harris and Oscar Grenfell, 1 April 2017

The Liberal-National government is covering-up the dangerous conditions facing unemployed workers and young people forced onto Work for Dole programs.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 April 2017

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Australian Education Union agrees to sell-out deal with Victorian state Labor government

By Susan Allan, 30 March 2017

Teacher union claims of a “great win for our members” are a fraud.

Australia: Worker killed at Sydney harbour building site

By Virginia Browne, 27 March 2017

Twenty-nine workers, including 7 in the construction industry were killed in industrial accidents during the period between January 1-March 1 this year.

New Australian union head feigns concern for workers’ rights

By Will Morrow, 22 March 2017

McManus’s elevation is part of the unions’ preparations to try and divert rising working-class anger behind the return of a Labor government in 2019.

Australian Labor Party and unions assist closure of Hazelwood power plant

By Paul Bartizan and Oscar Grenfell, 20 March 2017

The state Labor government’s union-backed worker transfer scheme will not defend a single job.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 March 2017

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Australia: Jobs and in-house production slashed at state broadcaster

By our reporter, 14 March 2017

As they have done in the past, the unions will appeal to management for “voluntary redundancies” while offering their services to assist in corralling staff out the door.

Australian union’s bogus campaign against penalty rate cut

By our reporters, 11 March 2017

The construction unions held rallies as part of an effort to channel workers’ anger behind the election of another pro-business Labor government.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

11 March 2017

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Australia: Young workers speak out against penalty rate cuts

By our reporters, 9 March 2017

Many young people are already deprived of weekend penalty wages, as a result of company-union wage-cutting deals.

Australian maritime union signs 13-year no-strike pledge with energy multinational

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 March 2017

The union has promised to suppress industrial action at the Ichthys pipeline project in northern Australia.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 March 2017

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Australian unions and Labor Party launch bogus campaign over penalty rate cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 March 2017

The Labor politicians and trade union bureaucrats are the ones most responsible for this historic cut in penalty rates.

Australian union pushes through pay cut at paper mill

By Chris Sadlier, 28 February 2017

The CFMEU did everything it could to bully the workforce into accepting a 5 percent pay cut and the establishment of a two-tier wage system.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 February 2017

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Australian industrial tribunal slashes workers’ wages

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 February 2017

Low-paid workers face pay cuts of thousands of dollars a year following the Fair Work Commission’s ruling.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 February 2017

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Australian disability workers strike against privatisation

By our reporters, 15 February 2017

Union officials sought to divert the widespread anger into impotent appeals to the state Coalition government, while promoting the opposition Labor Party.

Australian Paper workers voting on union wage-cutting deal

By our reporters, 13 February 2017

The CFMEU is seeking to suppress opposition to the agreement, which cuts wages by 5 percent and creates a new tier of lower-paid workers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

11 February 2017

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Australian government welfare staff may strike over pay dispute and “debt recovery”

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 February 2017

The public sector union is seeking to channel workers behind impotent appeals to the government.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 February 2017

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 January 2017

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Industrial court endorses sacking of Australian miners after union betrayal

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 January 2017

The ruling was one of a series of interventions by the Fair Work Commission into industrial disputes that underscore its role as an apparatus of the corporate elite.

Australia: Parmalat lockout in bid to slash conditions

By Will Morrow, 24 January 2017

The lockout of 65 Parmalat workers is part of a corporate onslaught on the wages and conditions of manufacturing workers nationally.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 January 2017

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Union seeks to impose wage cuts on Australian Paper workers

By Chris Sadlier, 17 January 2017

The union and management are invoking the threat of an imminent plant closure to bludgeon workers into accepting the deal.

Teenager killed on Australian building site

By Virginia Browne, 17 January 2017

The tragedy is one of a growing number of fatalities in the construction industry as builders, with union complicity, maximise profits by cutting basic health and safety.

Australia: Latrobe Valley power workers, residents denounce wage and job cuts

By our reporters, 16 January 2017

The latest measures are part of a decades-long assault on energy workers in the Latrobe Valley and nationally with the collaboration of the unions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 January 2017

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Industrial court endorses massive pay cuts at Australian power station

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 January 2017

The industrial tribunal’s ruling clears the way for pay cuts of 30–65 percent, a precedent that will be used against other workers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 January 2017

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Job losses continue in Australia amid stalling economic growth

By Terry Cook, 6 January 2017

Mounting levels of unemployment and underemployment underscore the fraud of the government’s claim that its policies would deliver “jobs and growth.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 December 2016

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Australia: Sacked brewery workers return after union “productivity” deal

By Chris Sadlier, 24 December 2016

The unions have repeatedly boasted of their role in boosting productivity and profitability at the CUB plant.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 December 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 December 2016

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Australia: Industrial tribunal backs the sacking of striking German Creek miners

By Terry Cook, 8 December 2016

A Fair Work Commission ruling, allowing Anglo American to dismiss workers involved in “protected” strike action, sets a dangerous precedent.

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation holds stop work meetings across the state

Demand the right to read the agreement before voting on it! Abolish NAPLAN, TIP, inspectors and other regressive measures!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 7 December 2016

The SEP calls all NSW public school teachers to demand that the full 2017–2019 Salaries and Conditions agreement be circulated well in advance of any vote.

Australia: Fair Work Commission backs mass sackings at Essential Energy

By Terry Cook, 6 December 2016

The Electrical Trades Union handed the dispute over to the industrial tribunal and is wholly responsible for the outcome.

Australia: State Labor government moves to ban Esso strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 December 2016

The unions are working with the government and the industrial tribunal to prevent a stoppage by their members.

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation calls meetings to ram through government deal

Demand the new agreement be circulated immediately! Delay the meetings to December 15!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 5 December 2016

The union has called stop-work meetings on December 8, for 50,000 public school teachers to vote on an agreement that they have neither read nor discussed.

Australia’s ABCC Bill: A far-reaching assault on workers’ rights

By Mike Head, 2 December 2016

The central purpose of the bill is to outlaw and suppress all strikes, stoppages and work bans by workers throughout the construction, transport and offshore oil and gas industries.

Australia: CIMIC Group’s takeover of UGL foreshadows more job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 December 2016

The acquisition will intensify years of job destruction and restructuring by the mining and engineering contractor.

Former Murdoch executive axes more jobs at Australian Broadcasting Corporation

By our reporter, 30 November 2016

The job losses did not begin with the current Liberal-National government but with chronic underfunding that started with the Hawke-Keating Labor administrations three decades ago.

Australia: Mounting evidence of black lung cover-up

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 November 2016

Thousands of miners could be afflicted by the deadly disease as a result of the erosion of safety standards by the major companies, with government and union complicity.

Australia: Pacific National axes more rail jobs

By Terry Cook, 21 November 2016

The rail union is complicit in the widespread job-shedding and casualisation within the haulage sector.

Australia: NSW government re-introduces public school inspectors to enforce unpopular measures

By Frank Gaglioti, 17 November 2016

Inspectors will police standardised testing on behalf of the New South Wales government, with powers to close schools and dismiss “underperforming” teachers.

Anglo American sacks workers amid strike at Australian mine

By Terry Cook, 17 November 2016

The unions are isolating a three-month strike by 140 workers at the German Creek mine in Queensland, even as the company announces sackings.

New Zealand: International Socialist Organisation glorifies deceased Council of Trade Unions leader

By Tom Peters, 16 November 2016

The ISO portrayed the veteran union bureaucrat Helen Kelly as a champion for workers’ rights, covering up her record of enforcing mass job cuts and other attacks on workers.