Analysis: The Movement for Black Lives is Different this Time

This analysis comes to us from Haley Pessin, member of the Afrosocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus of the Democratic Socialists of America and a rank and file member of 1199 SEIU. She organizes with the group Legal Workers Rank & File in New York Cvity.

 

Late May and early June saw the biggest wave of mass rebellion in the United States since the 1960s. Protests erupted in every major city and in all fifty states, demanding an end to racist police brutality. The character of these uprisings has been less like protests and more like rebellions, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets, blocking highways, and burning and destroying police cars along with other symbols of economic and racial oppression. At the time of writing, in New York City alone 47 police cars have been damaged or burned.1 More than 11,000 people have been arrested across the country.2 And, in Washington DC, protests outside the White House temporarily forced Trump to flee to his bunker—allegedly to “inspect” it and not in abject fear of the riots.3

Read more
Share

Analysis: Cabin Fever: Hope on the Edge of Despair at YYZ

 

This edition’s feature article comes from our comrades, the workers at Toronto International Airport, who have been fighting an industrial battle in light of the devastation of their workplace because of the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Read more
Share

OHS Matters: Changes to Industrial Chemical Regulation

 

Starting July 1, the scrutiny on new industrial chemicals entering Australia will change. Under the previous system originally introduced under a Labour government in the 1980’s – all new chemicals had to be thoroughly assessed by the industrial chemicals regulator, NICNAS (the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme), unless a company applied for an exemption based on specific criteria.

The new scheme puts much more power into the hands of industry – which has never liked being regulated.

Read more
Share

Backbone of Our Movement: Gabrielle Bennett

Gabrielle Bennett
Australian Nursing & Midwifery Assocaiton
Rank and file member, previous delegate

Read more
Share

Backbone of Our Movement: Kath Larkin

 

Kath Larkin, Rail, Tram & Bus Union
Delegate & Deputy Women’s Officer

How long have you been a union member?

14 years (in various unions)

Why did you join the union?

I grew up understanding the importance of not just joining but being an active member of a union. My mother is a nurse and was involved in the rank and file campaign led by Irene Bolger within the nurses union in the 80s, which successfully campaigned to reform the union. Most notably they were able to remove the anti-strike clause in the constitution. And my grandfather was a member of the tramway union and participated in the 1969 general strike to free Clarrie O’Shea. So from my first job in a cafe at 15 I’ve always joined my union.

Read more
Share

Analysis: Are the Police Workers like the Rest of Us?

At first glance, the answer would seem to be yes. Police officers need to sell their labour power to their employer like the rest of us. Nevertheless, the position that police hold in our society and the work that they perform makes them different to almost every other worker. This separation has existed from the very origins of policing and police forces.

Read more
Share

OHS Matters: Public Transport

 

Last week we discussed some of the issues relating to returning to work, including the necessity that employers consult with workers and their representatives to ensure measures are taken to minimise risks of infection at the workplace (for example: the physical layout; air conditioning; cleaning and sanitisation; etc).

There are other risks workers may be exposed to when returning to work over which the employer has no control. A big one is the commute. We’ve seen reports of the congested public transport system in the UK as their restrictions are being lifted and workers urged to return to work, and the outrage this caused to the public and the transport unions in particular. This is an example of how things should NOT be done.

Read more
Share

OHS Matters: Returning to Work

 

Bailey_MailGlyph_Digital.jpg

 

"My employer has started to make noises about us
gradually returning to work. What are some of the issues
we need to be aware of?"

Read more
Share

Analysis: The Capitalists Are Not United

 

The Capitalists Are Not United

 

It is now the end of May and so far, COVID-19 has been cited as the cause of death for about 350,000 people worldwide and has infected about 5.5 million people. The global response to the pandemic has been variable, but most countries have introduced some form of shut down measures, which include social distancing and business closures. The economic fallout has been severe. Many businesses will be wiped out, and some industries will take years to recover.

Read more
Share

Backbone of Our Movement: Can Yalcinkiya

Can Yalcinkaya, NTEU
Rank and file member

How long have you been a union member?

7 years.

Why did you join the union?

I was a long-time casual tutor and I wanted to find out about the NTEU’s plans to address the increasing casualisation in higher education. I also wanted to be part of a movement that is based on solidarity and improving the conditions of workers.

Read more
Share