Anti-union laws

Bad precedent

Submitted by AWL on 27 May, 2013 - 11:41

The Victoria branch of the construction section of Australia's big CFMEU union has been found guilty of contempt of court after it failed to comply with “restraining orders” issued to prevent it blockading construction sites in Melbourne in August and September 2012.

The sites (the Myer Emporium site and the Footscray site) were operated by construction company Grocon. CFMEU’s grievance related to issues of health and safety on the sites.

Now bury Thatcherism

Submitted by Matthew on 16 April, 2013 - 8:54

What we hold against Margaret Thatcher is not that she was “divisive”. We, revolutionary socialists, are “divisive” too — only we want to rally the worse-off to defeat the rich, while Thatcher rallied the rich to defeat the worse-off.

In a recent opinion poll, a clear majority (60%) thought that the taxpayer should not cover the cost of Thatcher’s funeral, and an equally clear majority, 59% to 18%, thought “Thatcher was the most divisive Prime Minister this country has had that I can remember”.

Thatcher: now her politics must die

Submitted by Matthew on 10 April, 2013 - 9:22

If we believed in a hell, we would have no doubt Margaret Thatcher would now be in it.

Now we must send to hell, too, the politics which she represented.

Labour leader Ed Miliband declared that: “We greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength”.

With a low-key comment that he “disagreed” a bit with Thatcher, he said that she had “moved the centre ground of British politics”. That, from a Labour leadership always keen to claim that it is occupying that same “centre ground”.

Mass arrests of trade unionists in Turkey

Submitted by AWL on 28 February, 2013 - 12:09

On 19 February, more than 100 trade unionists were arrested in co-ordinated raids by the authorities in 28 provinces across Turkey. The workers are members of KESK, a federation of public sector unions, and include many members of teachers' union Egitim Sen.

The arrests come in the aftermath of the suicide bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on 1 February, carried out by a self-styled "leftist" terrorist group. This move is a transparent attempt by the Turkish government to link legitimate, democratic trade unions with this act of terrorism.

European Court of Human Rights approves hearing on Britain's anti-strike laws

Submitted by AWL on 8 October, 2012 - 3:05

The European Court of Human Rights has given initial approval to a submission from railworkers’ union RMT which contends that Britain’s anti-union laws are unfairly restrictive.

The submission claims that the restrictions placed on the right to strike in Britain contravene Article 11 of the European Declaration of Human Rights. The British government must now respond to the submission and, if the ECHR is not satisfied by its justifications for the UK’s anti-union laws, a full hearing will be held next year.

QCH dispute enters sixth week

Submitted by Matthew on 12 September, 2012 - 8:02

Why is there a community protest at the Queensland Children’s Hospital site in Brisbane, Australia?

Workers are demanding a union enterprise bargaining agreement with the main contractor, Abigroup, and a clause to ensure that all workers employed by subcontractors on the site are paid the rate for the job. Almost all the workers on the site are employed by subcontractors rather than Abigroup, and rates for similar jobs with different subcontractors can vary by up to $10 an hour.

How did the dispute start?

Sparks sweat on court ruling

Submitted by Matthew on 15 February, 2012 - 12:47

As Solidarity went to press, electricians working for Balfour Beatty Engineering Services were still awaiting the outcome of a High Court ruling as to whether their latest strike ballot – which returned a 66% majority for action – is legal.

If the Court rules in favour of the workers’ union, Unite, the earliest conceivable date for an official strike would be 21 February. A strike committee elected from BBES stewards agreed that any walkout would be followed by rolling and selective action as well as action short of a strike, including an overtime ban.