Australia

Workers' Liberty Australia

A page for and about Workers' Liberty supporters in Australia. WL Australia news Workers Liberty newsletter No 72 (Late 2019) Contents: * Change the politics to socialism. For a climate action manifesto. * Workers and trade unions, why no strike for the climate? * Climate activism for workers’ control (from Climate change activism in the workplace) * Demands on employers (from Intertwining the threads), and Organising in schools for climate action * Extinction Rebellion Lismore * Cool air, hotter climate? Design against waste * Changing the Rules under a Coalition government * John Setka and...

Vale Peter Simpson, 1963-2020

A tribute to Peter Simpson, lifelong activist with the Electrical Trades Union and Queensland state secretary 2009-2016

Bit by bit workers’ rights are being eroded

The Morrison government withdrew most of the remaining provisions of its industrial relations “Omnibus Bill” when cross-bench Senators’ amendments gutted the bill of its main intentions – to increase employer flexibility in offering hours of work, and to allow employer designed Enterprise Agreements to be imposed without union and worker approval, in certain contexts. The sop to get this through was to be a law against wage theft (i.e. employer failure to pay the full award or agreement rates), and a “pathway” for casual workers to become permanent, if their boss doesn’t circumvent. The bill...

Australian women march for justice

Around 100,000 joined March4Justice around Australia, in capital cities and regional towns, on Monday 15 March. Angry opposition to rape, sexual violence and cover-ups has erupted since the exposure of two high profile rape cases involving the national parliament. In the first case, former staffer Brittany Higgins gave a TV interview on 15 February, alleging that in 2018 she had been raped her in the office of her boss, Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, by another staffer, and then was undermined when she reported it. Friends of a woman who suicided during Covid lockdown in 2020, wrote to...

After the Omnibus Bill, union rights still in retreat

Australia's conservative coalition government led by Scott Morrison has withdrawn most of the remaining provisions of its industrial relations “Omnibus Bill” after cross-bench Senators’ amendments gutted the bill of its main intentions – to increase employer flexibility in offering hours of work, and to allow employer designed Enterprise Agreements to be imposed without union and worker approval, in certain contexts.

Breaking the poverty machine

I was pleasantly surprised that Labor Senators voted on 24 February for a motion by Rachel Siewert from the Greens, noting “that the Government is making a deliberate choice to keep people on the JobSeeker Payment living in poverty” and calling on the Government to “urgently increase Jobseeker Payment to be above the poverty line.” That Labor voted for this is a tiny opening for supporters of living incomes, to demand more explicit commitments to $550 a week minimum income support to be made by each and every Labor MP, candidate, affiliated union and ALP branch. The opening is tiny. There were...

Facebook, Australia and democracy

In the week ending 20 February, users of Facebook platforms in Australia found links to many external sites no longer available. Facebook claimed they aimed only to cut links to news outlets, but the bans were more wide-ranging including some trade-union and campaigning organisations (such as Living Income For Everyone, LIFE, where Workers’ Liberty people in Australia are active), as well as state bodies. Facebook have stated that some of the bans have been errors, but it is unclear which will be reinstated or when. It has gone for “shoot first, question later” maximum disruption. That is its...

Labour, capital and the ACTU’s reconstruction plan

A review of Australian Unions. Australia’s economic reconstruction after COVID-19: a national jobs plan, and five ways to get started. This is a proposal for unions to call on the government to “lead a historic effort to rebuild our economy and our communities … by engaging all stakeholders, focusing on the core goal of creating decent work, and injecting unprecedented financial resources in the real economy”. It appears to be a well-reasoned and costed approach to dealing with union concerns about recession and consequent unemployment. It envisages a “consensus among economic stakeholders”...

Asylum: Patel's "Australian model"

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been asking officials to scope out the possibilities of detaining asylum seekers on remote Atlantic islands or in disused ferries, and building physical barriers in the Channel. In Australia, where she borrows the “remote-islands” idea from, deterring asylum seekers and enforcing border controls have been election-winning positions for the conservatives. In the first decade of the 21st century immigration detention in harsh remote locations within Australian territory through the first decade of this century produced points at which refugee supporters could meet...

Rank and file newsletter for Queensland MUA

'Special edition' newsletter on the Queensland MUA: This newsletter is written and published by concerned MUA R&F members 'Human Beings are many, but MEN are few' The above is a quote from the great Greek historian Herodotus referring to the heroic stand of the Spartan 300 at Thermopylae in 480 BC: Where despite being technically defeated the Greeks through their bravery and tenacity put in place the moral and military foundations to, in the end, defeat and drive from their homeland a far larger and stronger army in the Persians. Occasionally over the last few months I have interjected in the...

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