Posts in: workers

A Lesson from a TelCo Centre: How IT workers defeated an individual contract

Winter/Spring 2006

Protesters waving placards and yelling slogans from a megaphone. Marching in the streets, massed anger and strength in numbers. Unionised, mobilised and determined collective strength. This is hopefully how most people envision a labour movement with the power to overturn the Howard Government’s WorkChoices regime. Inspired, organised action has created fearsome warriors prepared to stand… Read more »

Our Work Choice: Strike or be crushed!

Winter/Spring 2006

It’s taken no time for the Howard Government’s so-called WorkChoices laws to bite, revealing the savagery of the corporate attack on our wages and conditions. As soon as they were enacted in late March this year, employers pounced. Cowra Abattoir sacked 29 workers, rehiring 20 on Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs, or individual contracts replacing collective… Read more »

The role of socialists in the union movement today

Summer/Autumn 2006

This article is an edited and updated version of a talk given by Alison Thorne at a Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) meeting on 31 August 2005. Thorne is a workplace delegate in the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and an activist in the rank and file caucus, Members First. CPSU workplace delegate, Alison Thorne,… Read more »

Workers fire up against Abbott’s ongoing anti-union push

Summer/Autumn 2003

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott spent last year trying to convince employers to be “more militant” — and take on unions. He takes every opportunity he can to convince bosses that many of them have made “insufficient use” of “all sorts of freedoms and flexibilities” within the existing industrial relations laws. In August Abbott presented… Read more »

Why must women lead the unions into a General Strike? Because we can!

Winter/Spring 2006

One of my most worn and treasured T-shirts is from my union, the Australian Services Union. It’s hot pink with the message, “Strong unions need women.” If ever women were needed to put some kick into the union movement, it’s now! Now, when Howard’s WorkChoices law is being used with ever-greater viciousness. The kick needs… Read more »

Federal Budget: cheap bribes can’t hide whose interests are served

Winter/Spring 2007

A few dollars to seniors and a little easing of childcare costs — these were the miserable bribes tossed around by the Howard Government in its pre-election budget. A compliant media kept everyone focused on whether they’d get some personal relief, even if just a bit. But once the dust settled, a couple of details… Read more »

Mother Jones: What workers today can learn from this union militant

Winter/Spring 2007

A portrait of Mother Jones during the Paint Creek Strike in 1912. In May, 2007 teacher unionist, Claudia Priori, presented this talk on Mother Jones at Radical Women’s celebration of May Day. Below is an abridged version. On my Radical Women T-shirt is the image of Mother Jones, a remarkable labour leader in the United… Read more »

UnionEyes: Distinguishing the fakers from real solidarity

Winter/Spring 2009

This year has seen support for the call to boycott apartheid Israel escalate within the international trade union movement. The entire Palestinian labour movement backs this strategy. In April, the Scottish Trade Union Congress came on board. They joined the Irish Congress of Unions, six Norwegian unions, unions in Catalonia, several Canadian unions representing postal… Read more »

Workers and young people paying for Australia’s economic slump

Winter/Spring 2009

Now into its third year, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) shows no sign of abating. In fact the World Bank recently revised an already gloomy forecast downwards. It now predicts a 2.9% contraction in the global economy and a 10% reduction in planet-wide trade in 2009. The news is not much better for 2010, either,… Read more »