Tag Archives: Unions

Gallery

Humphrey McQueen on May Day

Speech by Humphrey McQueen – May Day Dinner, Adelaide, 2011 Although we are more than half way through our May Day dinner, it is never too late to say grace: ‘For the food and drinks that we are enjoying, we … Continue reading

Gallery

New Australia: Wed May 4th Meeting of 17 Group

The May meeting of the 17 Group will be on Wednesday the 4th of May at 7pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St, West End. As you probably know, after the failure of the great strikes of the early … Continue reading

Gallery

The Left on Labour Day 2011

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Labour Day, Brisbane, 2011 Socialist groups missed an opportunity this Labour Day. There has been a shift inside the Labour movement and the Left has not recognised it fully nor have they responded to it. Observe the Labour Day march … Continue reading

Aside

Tony Mockeridge has asked that this song be dedicated to Lex Wotton. Accordingly this song goes out to Lex Wotton and his family for their courage in standing up for justice on Palms for the Bwgcolman people and for all … Continue reading

Gallery

Brisbane Labour Day Celebrations 2011

This gallery contains 3 photos.

The Qld Council of Unions Labour Day Committee have organised a March and Celebration to be held on Monday 2 May, 2011. 10:00am March Commences from the Cnr of Wharf & Turbot Sts, please check with your union for details … Continue reading

WorkLife Forum: trade unions in 21st century

WorkLife

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Union Solidarity threatened

Union SolidarityPetition

UNIONSOLIDARITY

Defend Dave Kerin!

Don’t put this man in jail

Union Solidarity Coordinator Dave Kerin is now facing up to 6 months jail for supporting striking workers at Boeing.

The Australian Workplace Ombudsman has issued Dave with a “Notice to produce documents” in relation to the recent strike at Boeing.

Dave Dave Kerin at the Boeing Assemblyis being asked to supply a government agency with all information and documents concerning Union Solidarity, the AMWU and rank & file members by May 8. Basically Dave is being asked to “rat”, he wont.
Union Solidarity will not comply with laws and government agencies whose sole purpose is to prevent workers having the ability to strike and organise.

In the last election the Australian people voted overwhelming to get rid of anti-union laws, Union Solidarity operates within the spirit of that intention!

We are asking you to indicate your public support for Dave Kerin and Union Solidarity.
Please provide comments of support in the space below.
Defend Dave Kerin, P.O.Box 285 Carlton South 3053

Messages of support can be sent to: defenddave@unionsolidarity.org

or fill out the petition on the Union Solidarity Website:
WWW.UNIONSOLIDARITY.ORG

2007 Federal Election: Bastards voted out

Little Joy for Workers

“In democracies, sometimes the rulers have to change in order to ensure that things remain the same”

— adapted from The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Unions were told by the Labor Party that they had to work on a marginal seats campaign to get the ALP in government and thereby change the workplace laws. Unions generally accepted this view.

The Senate

In the book After the Waterfront – the workers are quiet the leftpress collective argues that

this strategy (the electoral solution) demands that the ALP achieves the highly unlikely scenario of winning a majority in both houses, or, more likely, of winning a majority in the House of Representatives and getting compliance from smaller parties in the Senate. However, getting candidates elected is not guaranteed and even if a candidate gets into parliament there are many other issues in the parliamentary system competing for the attention of parliamentarians.

The provisional result in the senate is:

Coalition 37
ALP 32
Greens 5
Family First 1
Nick Xenophon 1

As predicted in After the Waterfront – the workers are quiet the ALP will not control the senate and on many anti-worker, anti-union issues like WorkChoices.
The senate will remain hostile to any legislative changes favourable to workers and their unions. [See Liberal senators in bid to block repeal of IR law]

The Greens

Some workers looked to the Greens as a possible means of easing the workplace laws because the Greens had better Industrial Relations policy than Labor.

However the Greens will not have the balance of power in the Senate. One scenario is that a vote to replace WorkChoices would leave Labor and Greens deadlocked with the coalition 37 votes to 36 votes with Family First and Nick Xenophon (no-poker machine lobby) with the casting votes.

The big gain for the Greens was in Tasmania (two seats in the senate) and South Australia (one senate seat) with some gains in Victoria (falling short winning a senate seat). See http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2007/results/senate/vic.htm for the final tally after preferences.

In Queensland, the Greens, once again, did not do well in the Senate getting only half a quota (7%) before preferences.

However, in the house of Reps, the Greens did well in inner city Brisbane seats where there are now a lot of public servants and other white collar workers who vote Green.

The Greens seem unable to capture the blue collar working class vote, which in this election just went back to Labor.

The Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Equality Party did poorly again polling less than 2% of the vote in seats contested. Of the socialists contesting the senate, Sam Watson in Queensland got the best result for the Socialist Alliance in the senate (he got a meager 1,584 votes or 0.08% of the vote).

Analysis

At the national level, this means the ALP will face a hostile senate when it tries to get its minor reforms to WorkChoices through the parliament.

Yet people worldwide are starting to turn away from privatisation by governments. They wish to return services like health, education, transport and telecommunications to public ownership.

That is, people are moving away from the neo-conservative experiment of the past 20 years. This seems lost on ALP governments throughout Australia, governments that are privatising public resources like electricity industry in NSW. [See Electricity sell-off a surge to the bottom line]

The last major privatisation in Australia was the sale of Telstra, yet what did people get from the sale of Telstra?

A failed company with a hopeless mob running it and taking away $20 million each per annum in salaries.

At the same time, call centre workers at Telstra have been committing suicide because of the bad conditions. See the article in BushTelegraph: No Action on Worker Suicides at Telstra

This trend away from private ownership in the minds of workers (see strikes in opposition to power privatisation in NSW) is still minor but there is some chance it may spread.

Meanwhile rising Labor star, Kevin Rudd (PPP*) once said:

We (the Labor Party) are the genuine inheritors of the [Adam] Smithian tradition [of modern-day capitalism].

We accept price. We accept markets. We accept the legitimate pursuit of self-interest.”

From After the Waterfront – the workers are quiet. @ http://wpos.wordpress.com/

For more in depth discussion of the unions situation post election 07 see After the Waterfront – the workers are quiet.

* Coined termed by veteran SMH journo Alan Ramsey. PPP = ‘prissy, precious, prick’