Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

Australia: La Trobe 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 La Trobe Valley and nationally with the collaboration of the unions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 14 January 2017

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

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

By , 7 January 2017

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

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

By , 31 December 2016

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

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

By , 24 December 2016

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 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

By , 5 November 2016

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

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

By , 29 October 2016

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

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

By , 17 September 2016

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

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

By , 27 August 2016

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

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.

Full-time jobs and wages falling in Australia

By Mike Head, 20 August 2016

Part-time work is becoming the “new normal” for growing layers of workers, with devastating consequences for living standards.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 August 2016

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

Border and immigration workers strike at Australian airports and ports

By Terry Cook, 15 August 2016

Over 100,000 public sector workers have had no pay increase for three years.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 13 August 2016

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

Australian central bank chief insists on “difficult” budget cuts

By Mike Head, 12 August 2016

The Reserve Bank governor said politicians had to move more swiftly to impose the burden of the post-2008 crisis on the working class.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 6 August 2016

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

Australian Workers Union pushes pay cuts for Arrium employees

By Richard Phillips, 3 August 2016

The union is seeking to blackmail Whyalla workers, by declaring that if they reject the enterprise agreement, Arrium’s steel plant and nearby mines will be closed.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 30 July 2016

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 23 July 2016

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 16 July 2016

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

Australia: BlueScope suing steel union over one-day strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2016

The legal action against the Australian Workers Union is aimed at intimidating steelworkers hostile to the conditions imposed by the company-union deal last year.

Australia: Brewery maintenance workers rally to defend jobs, wages

By Frank Gaglioti, 7 July 2016

The unions organised the rally to place pressure on company executives to collaborate with them in driving down workers’ wages and conditions.

Australian Labor’s fraudulent apprenticeship scheme

By Elle Chapman, 28 June 2016

Over the past four years, under both Labor and the Coalition, the number of apprenticeships has plummeted from 516,000 to 295,000.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 25 June 2016

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

Australian poultry processor Ingham to close Cardiff plant

By Terry Cook, 23 June 2016

The announcement is part of an attack on jobs and conditions in the meat and food processing industries worldwide.

Australian jobs figures show expansion of part-time work

By Mike Head, 21 June 2016

A new “normal” has emerged—growing numbers of workers being forced to take part-time jobs, which are invariably less secure and worse-paid.

SEP senate candidate speaks with Melbourne tram drivers

By our reporters, 20 June 2016

Chris Sinnema received a warm response when he outlined the party’s fight for a new anti-war movement of the working class.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 18 June 2016

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

Widening unrest in Papua New Guinea following police shooting of student protesters

By John Braddock, 11 June 2016

Behind the protests over allegations of corruption lies an immense social crisis caused by the collapse of the economy.

Australia: Labor unveils “tough, unpopular” budget cuts

By Mike Head, 11 June 2016

Labor underscored its commitment to satisfying the demands of the corporate elite for sweeping cuts to social spending.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 11 June 2016

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

Australia power union calls off New South Wales strike

By Terry Cook, 10 June 2016

The Electrical Trades Union has pushed a long-running Essential Energy workers’ dispute into arbitration, clearing the way for the company to slash jobs and working conditions.

What the Royal Commission into Australia’s trade unions revealed

Part Five: The TWU and MUA “training funds” and the CFMEU’s “drug and alcohol committee”

By Will Fulgenzi—SEP candidate for Wills, 7 June 2016

Millions of dollars flow into trade union coffers via arrangements between their various “funds,” “organisations” and “committees,” and the major employers.

What the Royal Commission into Australia’s trade unions revealed

Part Four: The CFMEU’s “training organisations” and “charities”

By Will Fulgenzi—SEP candidate for Wills, 6 June 2016

The crown for the most egregious of the unions’ various corporate entities must go to the CFMEU’s “training” organisations and “charities.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 4 June 2016

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

What the Royal Commission into Australia’s trade unions revealed

Part Three: The trade unions as insurance brokers

By Will Fulgenzi—SEP candidate for Wills, 4 June 2016

Behind their backs, unions and employers funnel workers’ entitlements for illness, redundancy, injury and death into the unions’ own insurance companies.

What the Royal Commission into Australia’s trade unions revealed

Part Two: Companies pay union “membership fees”

By Will Fulgenzi—SEP candidate for Wills, 3 June 2016

In exchange for implementing their agenda, major employers pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the unions.

What the Royal Commission into Australia’s trade unions revealed

Part One: Workers need new organisations of struggle!

By Will Fulgenzi—SEP candidate for Wills, 2 June 2016

While the Commission’s motivations are reactionary, its report demonstrates that the unions are nothing but labour management businesses whose role is to destroy workers’ conditions.

Australia: Jobs losses continue to mount amid collapsing wage levels

By Terry Cook, 1 June 2016

Australian Bureau of Statistics data exposes growing casualisation of the workforce and low wage levels.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 21 May 2016

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

Australia: Fairfax Media imposes forced redundancies

By Terry Cook, 19 May 2016

Amid threatened government legal action against its workers for striking, one of the country’s largest media corporations last week began sacking editorial staff across two states.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 14 May 2016

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

Patrick Stevedores threatens to lock out Australian port workers

By Terry Cook, 13 May 2016

Amid the campaign for Australia’s July 2 federal election, the major waterfront company has declared it will lock out workers in four states if they take further industrial action.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 7 May 2016

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

Australian Workers Union to enforce cost-cutting at Arrium steel

By Terry Cook, 5 May 2016

The AWU is working hand-in-glove with major banks and the administrators to slash costs.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 30 April 2016

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 16 April 2016

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

Black lung disease reemerges in Australian coal mines

By Richard Phillips, 11 April 2016

Increased workloads, inadequate mine ventilation and low dust-testing standards have produced a sudden jump in the number of coal miners suffering from black lung.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 9 April 2016

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

Thousands of jobs threatened by Australian steel company collapse

By Mike Head, 8 April 2016

Steelworkers in Australia, like those around the world, are being made to pay for a colossal breakdown in the world capitalist economy.

Australian government uses “war on terror” to end airport strikes

By Terry Cook, 8 April 2016

The ban on strike action by Immigration and Border Protection employees has set a precedent that will be used against other sections of the working class.

Australia: State electricity workers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 5 April 2016

Essential Energy wants to axe agreements covering hundreds of workers to begin sackings and further slash working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 2 April 2016

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

Australia: Pacific Islanders suffer slave-like conditions in fruit industry

By Paul Bartizan, 30 March 2016

The super-exploitation of Pacific Islanders who have no democratic rights under the Seasonal Workers Program is to be extended throughout the agricultural industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 26 March 2016

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

Public sector union cancels strike action at Australian airports

By Richard Phillips, 24 March 2016

The CPSU is anxious to prevent the pent-up anger among its members, after years of job cuts, wage freezes and the erosion of working conditions, from erupting out of its control.

Arrium demands Australian mine workers take pay cuts

By Terry Cook, 12 March 2016

Under the threat of closure, steelmaker Arrium is working with the unions to impose a 10 percent wage cut in its iron ore mines.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 12 March 2016

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

Australia: Qantas reaps record profits by slashing jobs and wages

By Terry Cook, 5 March 2016

Deep cuts have been imposed on the airline’s workers through a combination of intimidation and the collaboration of the trade unions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 5 March 2016

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 February 2016

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

Australia: BlueScope Steel profits leap on back of union-imposed job cuts

By Terry Cook, 23 February 2016

After the AWU and other unions helped impose savage cost cutting, the Australian steel manufacturer doubled its profits.

Arrium threatens to close Whyalla steelworks in South Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 February 2016

The Australian Workers Union, working hand in hand with the company, is preparing to impose another round of job cuts and attacks on working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 February 2016

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