workers

Abolish the framework of fear: Demolish the ABCC!

Winter/Spring 2009

Review of Framework of Flesh: Builders’ Labourers Battle for Health and Safety, Humphrey McQueen, Ginninderra press, 2009. Will they jail him? Hundreds of unionists in South Australia cheered Ark Tribe as he entered court on 10 March 2009. Tribe is the latest construction worker to be threatened with six months jail for standing up for… 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Cronulla Riot: Unions must mobilise against racism and fascism

Summer/Autumn 2006

Out of the sewer. Long time Nazi fanatic, James Saleam, founder of the thankfully defunct National Action, has rallied a small group of thugs, ultranationalists and racists into an outfit called the Patriotic Youth League, which orchestrated the Cronulla riot. Drunken racist goons, who wanted to defend “their” beaches and “their” women attacked anybody who… Read more »