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September 8th was Tanya Day’s birthday. She would have been 58. She died in police custody on the 22nd of December, 2017. This year on September 8th her family requested people wear pink, Day’s favorite color, to honour her memory and highlight the Justice for Tanya Day campaign. This edition of the WS Bulletin is dedicated to her, her family, and all of the black lives that have been taken at the hands of the police.

#BLM #JusticeforTanyaDay

# Justice for Tanya Day
Ben Juers | @benjuers




Workers In Struggle


RAFFWU and McDonald’s

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) launched proceedings against Brisbane-based McDonald’s franchisee Tantex Holdings Pty Ltd after its general manager said on a staff Facebook page that if workers wanted to enforce the 10-minute-break rule then this break would “be the only time you would ever be permitted to have a drink or go to the toilet.” Workers had complained that they were not getting their scheduled breaks. The company was found in breach of the Fair Work Act. The ruling said “Denial of access as needed to toilet facilities or drinking water could, as a matter of ordinary life experience, have adverse health and safety ramifications for an employee and thus enliven the primary statutory duty of an employer found in section 19 of the [Queensland] WHS Act.” Congratulations to the workers and RAFFWU on their victory!


AWU and Polytrade

One of Victoria’s largest kerbside recycling companies has paid about $1 million in back-pay to more than 30 of its mainly refugee and migrant workforce after one of Australia’s most egregious cases of wage theft.

At least 35 workers have received significant pay-outs in recent months, according to the AWU, with some receiving more than $60,000. Another was paid $25,000 after working at the company for just six months. The total payout so far is estimated at about $1 million, and an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman is ongoing.

AWU Victorian secretary Ben Davis, who previously branded the treatment of workers at Polytrade a “national disgrace,” said the underpayments were “serious and egregious”.


RTBU SA and the South Australian Government

Members of the RTBU in South Australia have won the right to vote on strike action and other industrial action – including protest announcements over the PA system – as tensions increase over EBA negotiations.
The negotiations are occurring against a backdrop of privatisation and are now focusing on key items:

• Protecting the jobs and conditions of workers who are facing privatisation;

• Protecting the health and safety of workers and commuters; and

• Ensuring South Australian rail workers are paid in line with workers doing the same jobs in other states.


MUA and Svitzer Australia

MUA tug crew members working for Svitzer Australia will vote on taking industrial action after negotiations for a new workplace agreement stalled in early September. MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray said:

“Svitzer Australia has essentially been unwilling to enter into meaningful negotiations for a new EBA. The company put forward an offer that would have imposed wage freezes for the next two years… but at the same time has been pressing ahead with aggressive attacks on the Port Operating Procedures in several ports.”

Members will vote on 20 potential forms of industrial action, including stoppages of various lengths, bans on overtime, a requirement to return to the berth for breaks, and modifications to work practices such as a refusal to undertake online training or use certain work systems.


Julian Assange, MEAA and United States Government

On Monday 7 Sept in London’s Old Bailey, Wikileaks founder and MEAA member Julian Assange began his legal battle against extradition to the United States on espionage charges.

If successfully prosecuted in the US, he would face up to 175 years jail.

The case has grave implications not only for Assange, but for journalism and media freedom worldwide.

Free Julian Assange! No extradition!


MUNZ and Ports of Auckland

The Maritime Union of New Zealand is calling for an end to 12 hour graveyard shifts after a stevedore died at Ports of Auckland on 27 August.

The Maritime Union’s Auckland Local 13 secretary Russell Mayn said Ports of Auckland workers could be mandated to work up to 60 hours a week, on top of long hours and the physically demanding work.

Mayn said 12 hour overnight shifts were too long, given waterfront work could be dangerous if simple mistakes were made or if someone was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He said night shifts should be reduced to a maximum of eight hours.


Fast food workers, USA

America surpassed the 1,000-strike count since March 1 after a series of fast-food worker strikes hit both Tampa and LA.

In Tampa, pro-worker forces attempted to raise support for Amendment 2, which would raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026.



The Worker’s Solidarity Bulletin is a living document written to reflect what is happening within the labour movement, here in Australia and across the world. The producers of this publication, and participants in Workers Solidarity more broadly, don’t necessarily endorse or agree with all of the views in this publication. This is a place for debate and discussion.

See something you disagree with? Not seeing something you think we should talk about? 

Shoot us a line with your thoughts at



What's On


Workers Solidarity General Meeting (Online via Zoom)
Third Thursday of every month
Next meeting: TBA

US Fall 2020 Online Labor Film Series
12 leftist films screening at set times - free entry
Organized and sponsored by the DC LaborFest
Regular sessions until 27th October

Climate Solutions Forum: The transport sector
Online panel discussion hosted by the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) and Friends of the Earth
Thursday, 17th September 2020 from 18:00-19:30
facebook event here

Know Your Rights - Law Week Panel Webinar #3: Protest, Repression and the Law
Hosted by Melbourne Activist Legal Support
Saturday 19th September from 13:00-15:00
facebook event here

Will the US Alliance drag Australia into another war?
Online forum hosted by the Indepeneant Peaceful Australia Network
Saturday 19 September at 2pm
Information and Registration ipan.vic1@gmail.com

Raising Peace: 100 Years of Peacemaking (Sydney)
‘International Volunteers for Peace’ and ‘The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’ both celebrate their centenaries this year. They have joined Independent and Peaceful Australia Network to celebrate.
Sunday 20 Sept: ‘Peace Fair’ 2pm to 8pm, 107 Redfern Street, Redfern
Monday 21 Sept:  Celebration of United Nations International Day of Peace
20 Sept to 4 Oct:  Peace Exhibition at 107 Project.

Between War and Peace - Australias past and Future. A conversation we need to have Online event for International Day of Peace
Monday 21 September from 19:30 – 21.15 pm
Register by emailing j.camilleri@latrobe.edu.au

Media Spokesperson Training
Four-day training program combining theory and practical media interview simulations
Organised by ‘Australian Progress’
21-22 September

Body Count: How climate change is killing us
Author Paddy Manning talks about his new book, live over Zoom
Hosted by the New International Bookstore
Wednesday, September 23
facebook event here

Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled
Roundtable discussion with Palestinian feminist, militant, and leader Leila Khaled, followed by Q&A discussion.
Wednesday 23rd September from 15:30-17:30 EDT (NOTE: EDT not AEST)
Register here

Build Our Future: Climate Justice & Jobs National Day of Action.
First Nations communities, School Strikers and young people, workers and unions are coming together to demand that our Government funds our future not gas.
25 September - Nation wide
Over 100 Actions across the country.

Upholding the Right to Protest during the Pandemic
An event co-hosted by Refugee Action Collective, Justice for David Dungay campaign, and Melbourne Activist Legal Support (MALS)
Saturday 26th Sept 14:00 - 15:00
Register here

Online Rally: Defend the Right to Protest, Free the Refugees
Timed to coincide with landmark court case’s contest mention
Refugee Action Collective (Victoria)
Tuesday 29th September 08:30am
facebook event here

#Phones are a Life Life #Freetherefugees
Socially distanced (two-at-a-time relay protest) protest hosted by Refugee Action Collective
10:00 - 16:00 3rd and 4th October
Mantra Bell City, 215 Bell st Preston
Hologram projected protest option available too
Call 0404728104 for more information

Starting a Worker Cooperative
Formal short online course hosted by Earthworker Cooperative. 
9:30am - 12:30pm 
Every Wednesday starting October 7th til December 9th. 
03 94158700 for more info and enrolment.

Voice. Treaty. Truth. Advocacy Course
Two day Online Course
Organised by the First Nations Workers Alliance and the ACTU
Running regularly from now until November

2021 ‘Australian Progress’ National Fellowship - Applications now open
Leadership course for advocates, campaigners, activists and changemakers.
19 February - 5 June 2021

Dangerous Goods Advisory Group - OHS (Online)
Bimonthly general networking & discussion update meeting, open to all, to discuss Dangerous Goods and Chemical Regulation campaigns.
Wednesday 21 October
 for more information contact Jeff.Simpson@haztech.com.au

HSR Conference 2020 - Risks to Psychosocial Health
Victoria wide online conference
October 27th 2020
Free Event

Blockade IMARC 27-29 October 2020
27th - 29th October 
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)



Workers Solidarity acknowledges that our activities take place on Aboriginal Land. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.