Wage increases do not cause inflation!

Winter/Spring 2008

For months, the Rudd government has been repeating the same economic message: the “inflation genie,” it tells us is, “out of the bottle” and so a “wages breakout” must be avoided at all costs to stem inflation. But this argument is bogus. Demands that wages be held down, coupled with pressure on the Fair Pay… Read more »

Big trouble for workers as crisis hits world’s largest economy

Winter/Spring 2008

Forget the glitzy façade and look at the United States from an average person’s perspective. Setbacks, catastrophe, and ruin are hitting working people from every direction. The economy has been worsening since 2001, but the first half of 2008 brought enormous price increases, accelerated loss of homes, floods, massive layoffs, and spiking unemployment. The government’s… Read more »

Housing: soaring costs hit home

Winter/Spring 2008

There’s a monumental housing crisis in Australia. Rents are skyrocketing and vacancy rates are the lowest on record, pushing desperate tenants to resort to unofficial rent auctions. In 1996 the cost of buying a house was four times the average wage. By 2007 it had jumped to seven times. Three hundred thousand households are currently… Read more »

Red Earth: Don’t forget the cities!

Summer/Autumn 2008

Hands up who hasn’t had a gripe about one or more of the following, lately: roads, public transport, schools, hospitals, housing, water shortages, power/gas supplies, telecommunications? A lot of raised hands, I guess! All of these are examples of the essential infrastructure that keeps our cities and towns going. Their failure is an important environmental… Read more »

Union Eyes

Summer/Autumn 2008

The ABCC must go! The Howard government has gone, but one of its most repressive anti-worker bodies — the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) — remains. Established in October 2005, this body was given sweeping powers that remove the most basic of civil rights from building workers. In gathering evidence, the ABCC operates in… 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 »

Work Choices can be defeated!

Summer/Autumn 2007

Australian workers have some decisions of their own to make about the Howard Government’s WorkChoices legislation, currently transforming the industrial landscape. In New Zealand (NZ), workers were attacked with very similar industrial legislation in the 1990s, and the hard lessons kept coming, even after the election of a Labour government. Aussie workers may want to… Read more »

Derailed! Victorian Transport Privatisation Fiasco

Summer/Autumn 2003

I’ve never been a “creditor” before. But on December 30, along with all other train and tram employees of National Express Group (NE), I received notice of a creditors’ meeting planned for January 2. Happy New Year! We had joined the tens of thousands of Australian workers dumped by a corporate collapse. Except for one… Read more »