Earlier this month Attorney General Christian Porter introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 to parliament. This comes as part of the Morrison government’s supposed attempts to help aid recovery from COVID-19, with the coalition arguing the amendments will provide an opportunity for businesses to recover from a pandemic-induced economic crisis and ensure the creation of new jobs. Unsurprisingly, these business-friendly measures pose a significant attack on workers rights and seek to overturn a number of the limited protections and rights currently provided by the Fair Work Act. The amendments included in this Omnibus Bill will make it easier for employers to use the current crisis to drive down conditions in order to boost profits.Read more
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and NSW Police raids on CFMMEU union official homes and offices can only be seen as part an on-going attack on unions by the Liberal government. On the 18th of November the CFMMEU Pyrmont headquarters was raided and the cops spent eleven hours gathering who-knows-what for sifting through at their leisure. Raids were also carried out at the homes of union officials.Read more
The Covid-19 pandemic is a stress test for societies at a global scale. The virus has been ruthless in exposing underlying fault lines and weaknesses in almost all countries, while also revealing strengths.Read more
Australia has a good health care system when compared to most of the world. It provides access to primary heath services, hospitals and medication for the vast majority of its citizens at no or low cost. This is achieved through Medicare, the PBS and the public hospital system. It is far better than the American situation where health care is almost fully profit-driven, wildly expensive and completely out of reach of the poor and uninsured. However Australia’s claim to have a universal heath care system is not true, when many vital services are only available privately – dental care and mental health care being two of the most obvious examples.Read more
At 11.50am on October 15 1970, a span of the West Gate Bridge, then under construction, collapsed. 2000 tonnes of steel fell 45 metres - 35 workers were killed, 17 were injured. Some ‘rode’ the bridge down and, miraculously, survived. All those who survived were traumatised, as were many people living in the working-class suburbs surrounding it.Read more
The Global Trade Union Assembly (GTUA), “Pandemic and Beyond: Workers Organising for a Public Future”, which took place over seven events from July to September, was convened by Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and over fifty unions and union federations from around the world. Over 1000 unionists participated. Trade Unions for Energy Democracy is an alliance of unions, global union federations, national bodies, and other worker organisations from around the world advocating democratisation and public ownership of energy generation, and a shift to renewable energy and a sustainable economy.Read more
Our mother was a proud, staunch Yorta Yorta woman. She was a doting mother, grandmother and Aunty. She was and will be remembered for her strength, resilience, beauty, kind heart and of course her smile, fashion sense, deadly feeds and her love of the colour pink.
We have spent close to three years fighting for justice for the death of our mum. On 27 August, we were told that the police officers involved in her death avoided prosecution. This is despite the coroner finding that mum’s death was preventable and that the police officers failed to take proper care of mum’s safety, security, health and welfare.Read more
The media and the politicians are telling us that many of us in Melbourne, Victoria are experiencing lockdown fatigue. That the people that are defying the lockdown laws are crazy or antisocial. They are telling us to hang in there, that we are all in this together.
There is another way to understand this fatigue.Read more
In the last fortnight, the franchise industry has called for the scrapping of weekend and evening penalty rates. They have said that the COVID-19 pandemic can be used to “shift the paradigm” on industrial relations.
Also in the last fortnight, the High Court of Australia ruled against giving part time and shift workers sick leave based on the number of hours worked, versus the number of days worked. It means that workers working 8 hour days, and workers working 12 hour days, accrue the same amount of sick leave. Cadbury argued that a “normal day” was 7.6 hours, and every worker could accrue no more than 10 x 7.6 hour days in sick leave. This was a battle fought by Cadbury workers, represented by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. The AMWU won this fight in the Federal Court. But Cadbury took the fight higher. The new decision will save employers billions of dollars in our wages, and costs us billions of dollars in lost wages.Read more
COVID-19 is a very contagious, and very deadly disease.
It spreads easily, it spreads through the air.
It spreads in workplaces.
Staying home will stop the spread.
But some workers can’t stay at home.Read more