Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

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.

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

20 August 2016

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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

13 August 2016

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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

6 August 2016

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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

30 July 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 July 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 July 2016

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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

25 June 2016

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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

18 June 2016

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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

11 June 2016

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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

4 June 2016

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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

21 May 2016

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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

14 May 2016

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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

7 May 2016

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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

30 April 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 April 2016

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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

9 April 2016

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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

2 April 2016

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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

26 March 2016

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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

12 March 2016

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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

5 March 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 February 2016

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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

20 February 2016

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Australian union escalates nationalist campaign over shipping layoffs

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 February 2016

The Maritime Union of Australia is seeking to divide workers along national lines and obscure its own role in facilitating the job destruction.

Australian government-union conspiracy to sack “underperforming” teachers

By Richard Phillips, 15 February 2016

The unions have torn up teachers’ hard-won struggle for job security by implementing new anti-democratic inspection regimes and streamlined sacking procedures.

New wave of job cuts in Australia as global slump deepens

By John Harris, 12 February 2016

The mining and resources sector is now in headlong decline, and the fallout is spreading throughout the economy, including the retail sector.

Australian shipbuilding workers sacked in takeover deal

By Terry Cook, 11 February 2016

Forgacs workers were escorted off the job following the completion of a takeover by Civmec, as part of a sweeping restructuring of the industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 February 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 January 2016

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Australian maritime union isolates and betrays Portland seamen

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 January 2016

The Maritime Union of Australia’s “Our Coast. Our Jobs” campaign divides workers and obscures the union’s role as the enforcer of sweeping cuts demanded by big business.

Australian Dulux workers return to work but job cuts loom

By Mike Head, 26 January 2016

Together with the other trade unions, United Voice is seeking to contain the growing anger among workers over the mounting destruction of jobs.

Australian industrial court bans port strikes

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 January 2016

The ruling will likely be invoked by the union to strike a backroom deal with the port company.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 January 2016

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Australian nickel refinery crisis threatens thousands of jobs

By Mike Head, 20 January 2016

The livelihoods of workers in the northern city of Townsville and the French colony of New Caledonia are imperiled by the threatened closure of the Queensland Nickel plant.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 January 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 January 2016

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Australian government seizes on trade union report to attack workers’ conditions

By Will Morrow, 7 January 2016

While the immediate target of the royal commission report is the trade unions, the real aim is to clear the way for a fundamental transformation of Australian industrial relations.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 January 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 December 2015

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Job losses mount throughout Australian mining sector

By Terry Cook, 18 December 2015

Anglo American’s announcement last week of massive layoffs, globally and in Australia, is just one indication of the crisis throughout the mining industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 December 2015

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Australia: Productivity Commission proposes further major cutbacks to pensions

By Richard Phillips, 11 December 2015

The report targets the family home, which for more than a century has been exempt from inclusion in the pension assets test.

Scores of Australian workers killed in workplace incidents

By Terry Cook, 9 December 2015

Workers continue to die or be severely injured in work-related accidents that are entirely preventable.

Australian union officials arrested on blackmail charges for imposing bans

By Mike Head, 8 December 2015

The use of the criminal law to punish industrial action is a bid to wind the clock back to the nineteenth century.

Australian state government sells power generator for next to nothing

By Terry Cook, 7 December 2015

The power trade unions have diverted workers’ opposition into harmless protests while helping axe thousands of jobs through “voluntary” redundancies.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 December 2015

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Australian government unveils new pro-business “reforms”

By Mike Head, 28 November 2015

Entire areas of “human services”—including public health and education—will be thrown open to exploitation by cost-cutting corporate operators.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 November 2015

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Toyota worker denounces union over shutdown of Australian car industry

By our reporter, 21 November 2015

“The only people who will win out from this closure are the company and the unions.”

BlueScope praises Australian unions for pushing through job destruction at Port Kembla

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 November 2015

The company will now try to use the threat to close the steel plant to extract more cuts to wages and conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 November 2015

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Australian unemployment figures provoke disbelief and criticism

By Terry Cook, 20 November 2015

Despite mounting job losses, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for October recorded an unexplained fall in the unemployment rate.

Australian unions force through steel job cuts and wage freeze

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 November 2015

A significant minority of workers rejected the company-union blackmail.

Australian maritime union betrays Hutchison workers

By Richard Phillips, 18 November 2015

Hutchison management thanked the union for giving the company “greatly enhanced flexibility.”

Australian unions seek to ram through job destruction at BlueScope Steel

By Oscar Grenfell and James Cogan, 17 November 2015

Opposition has steadily increased to the union’s efforts to blackmail workers into voting to slash their own conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 November 2015

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Australia: Growing opposition to union-company deal at Port Kembla steelworks

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 November 2015

The unions are seeking to intimidate workers into accepting 500 job cuts, a wage-freeze and an overhaul of working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 November 2015

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Chevron to slash hundreds of jobs at Australian gas projects

By Terry Cook, 6 November 2015

The resources giant is eliminating up to 14,000 jobs globally, underscoring the sharp reversal in the mining sector.

Australian financial commentator hails union role in steel cuts at Port Kembla

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 November 2015

The so-called negotiations had the character of a union-company conspiracy against the BlueScope workers.