Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 May 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

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.

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

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

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

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

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

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

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.

Australia: Residents denounce closure of Hazelwood power station

By our reporters, 11 November 2016

The state Labor government and the unions are collaborating with management to axe the plant and destroy 1,000 jobs.

Australia: Unions back cuts in working conditions at state broadcaster

By our reporters, 9 November 2016

Union support for the new Australian Broadcasting Corporation enterprise agreement opens the way for even deeper attacks on jobs and conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 November 2016

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Australia: Hazelwood power station closure threatens thousands of jobs

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 November 2016

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union is seeking to impose an “orderly closure” of the plant.

Australian poultry firm Baiada to close Victorian plant

By Will Morrow, 1 November 2016

The National Union of Workers is working with the company to try to enforce an “orderly closure” of the Laverton facility.

Australia: Widespread exploitation of backpackers and overseas labourers

By John Harris, 31 October 2016

The report documented the slave-like conditions for overseas workers which flow directly from the 417 visa arrangements enforced by Labor and Liberal-National governments.

Samoan car component plant to shut, eliminating 740 jobs

By John Braddock, 29 October 2016

Yazaki, with the assistance of the government and unions, has made millions from its 25-year exploitation of Samoan workers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 October 2016

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Australia: Five workers killed in industrial incidents within a week

By Terry Cook, 19 October 2016

Five workers died within seven days, pointing to increasingly unsafe conditions in the construction and transport industries.

Australian tax department seeks to fast-track sackings

By Terry Cook, 13 October 2016

The changes are part of a sweeping overhaul of wages and conditions that the Liberal-National government is attempting to impose across the public service.

Ford Australia’s closure demonstrates need for a global auto workers’ strategy

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 October 2016

Ford’s shutdown of its Australian production tomorrow is one of the final nails in the coffin of an entire industry, at the hands of the transnational auto companies.

Job cuts threatened at New Caledonia nickel plant

By John Braddock, 4 October 2016

The Koniambo job “review” foreshadows a major assault on workers throughout the nickel industry in the French colony and internationally.

Australia: Strike continues at Anglo American’s German Creek coal mine

By Terry Cook, 3 October 2016

The union continues to isolate a dispute by 140 mine workers at Anglo American’s German Creek coal mine even as the company moves to recruit strike-breakers.

Australia: Immigration employees take industrial action in public sector dispute

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 September 2016

The limited stoppages are a continuation of the union’s attempts to isolate public sector workers and prevent a unified political and industrial fight against the government’s attacks.

Australian brewery still operating as unions isolate sacked workers

By Frank Gaglioti and Chris Sinnema, 24 September 2016

The trade unions have opposed any unified industrial and political action to win reinstatement of the Carlton & United Breweries maintenance workers.

Australia: Thousands more jobs being destroyed

By Terry Cook, 24 September 2016

Better-paying jobs are being eliminated throughout mining-related and manufacturing industries.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 September 2016

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BHP Billiton demands Australian coal miners accept three-year wage freeze

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 September 2016

The company’s move is part of a broader offensive against the jobs and working conditions of workers.

Australian public sector union holds farcical protests amid one-day strike

By our reporters, 12 September 2016

The protests were aimed at appealing to the Liberal-National coalition government and preventing any serious political discussion among public sector workers.

Tens of thousands of Australian public sector workers set to strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 September 2016

The union is seeking to corral opposition to attacks on wages and conditions behind the Labor Party.

Australian supermarket chain sheds hardware stores and jobs

By John Roberts, 5 September 2016

The closure by Woolworths of Masters and Home Timber and Hardware stores reflects the impact of slump and deflation on the retail industry.

Australia: Arrium steelworkers reject 10 percent pay cut

By John Roberts, 29 August 2016

From the outset, the union had no intention of waging any struggle to mobilise workers to oppose the cost cutting and fight the threat of closure.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 August 2016

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Decades-long cover-up of “black lung” among Australian miners

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 August 2016

Reports of cases pre-date the official rediscovery of the disease in Queensland last year.