Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 April 2016

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Thousands of jobs threatened by Australian steel company collapse

By Mike Head, 8 April 2016

Steelworkers in Australia, like those around the world, are being made to pay for a colossal breakdown in the world capitalist economy.

Australian government uses “war on terror” to end airport strikes

By Terry Cook, 8 April 2016

The ban on strike action by Immigration and Border Protection employees has set a precedent that will be used against other sections of the working class.

Australia: State electricity workers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 5 April 2016

Essential Energy wants to axe agreements covering hundreds of workers to begin sackings and further slash working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 April 2016

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Australia: Pacific Islanders suffer slave-like conditions in fruit industry

By Paul Bartizan, 30 March 2016

The super-exploitation of Pacific Islanders who have no democratic rights under the Seasonal Workers Program is to be extended throughout the agricultural industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 March 2016

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Public sector union cancels strike action at Australian airports

By Richard Phillips, 24 March 2016

The CPSU is anxious to prevent the pent-up anger among its members, after years of job cuts, wage freezes and the erosion of working conditions, from erupting out of its control.

Arrium demands Australian mine workers take pay cuts

By Terry Cook, 12 March 2016

Under the threat of closure, steelmaker Arrium is working with the unions to impose a 10 percent wage cut in its iron ore mines.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 March 2016

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Australia: Qantas reaps record profits by slashing jobs and wages

By Terry Cook, 5 March 2016

Deep cuts have been imposed on the airline’s workers through a combination of intimidation and the collaboration of the trade unions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 March 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 February 2016

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Australia: BlueScope Steel profits leap on back of union-imposed job cuts

By Terry Cook, 23 February 2016

After the AWU and other unions helped impose savage cost cutting, the Australian steel manufacturer doubled its profits.

Arrium threatens to close Whyalla steelworks in South Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 February 2016

The Australian Workers Union, working hand in hand with the company, is preparing to impose another round of job cuts and attacks on working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

20 February 2016

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Australian union escalates nationalist campaign over shipping layoffs

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 February 2016

The Maritime Union of Australia is seeking to divide workers along national lines and obscure its own role in facilitating the job destruction.

Australian government-union conspiracy to sack “underperforming” teachers

By Richard Phillips, 15 February 2016

The unions have torn up teachers’ hard-won struggle for job security by implementing new anti-democratic inspection regimes and streamlined sacking procedures.

New wave of job cuts in Australia as global slump deepens

By John Harris, 12 February 2016

The mining and resources sector is now in headlong decline, and the fallout is spreading throughout the economy, including the retail sector.

Australian shipbuilding workers sacked in takeover deal

By Terry Cook, 11 February 2016

Forgacs workers were escorted off the job following the completion of a takeover by Civmec, as part of a sweeping restructuring of the industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 February 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 January 2016

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Australian maritime union isolates and betrays Portland seamen

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 January 2016

The Maritime Union of Australia’s “Our Coast. Our Jobs” campaign divides workers and obscures the union’s role as the enforcer of sweeping cuts demanded by big business.

Australian Dulux workers return to work but job cuts loom

By Mike Head, 26 January 2016

Together with the other trade unions, United Voice is seeking to contain the growing anger among workers over the mounting destruction of jobs.

Australian industrial court bans port strikes

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 January 2016

The ruling will likely be invoked by the union to strike a backroom deal with the port company.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 January 2016

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Australian nickel refinery crisis threatens thousands of jobs

By Mike Head, 20 January 2016

The livelihoods of workers in the northern city of Townsville and the French colony of New Caledonia are imperiled by the threatened closure of the Queensland Nickel plant.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 January 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 January 2016

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Australian government seizes on trade union report to attack workers’ conditions

By Will Morrow, 7 January 2016

While the immediate target of the royal commission report is the trade unions, the real aim is to clear the way for a fundamental transformation of Australian industrial relations.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 January 2016

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 December 2015

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Job losses mount throughout Australian mining sector

By Terry Cook, 18 December 2015

Anglo American’s announcement last week of massive layoffs, globally and in Australia, is just one indication of the crisis throughout the mining industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 December 2015

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Australia: Productivity Commission proposes further major cutbacks to pensions

By Richard Phillips, 11 December 2015

The report targets the family home, which for more than a century has been exempt from inclusion in the pension assets test.

Scores of Australian workers killed in workplace incidents

By Terry Cook, 9 December 2015

Workers continue to die or be severely injured in work-related accidents that are entirely preventable.

Australian union officials arrested on blackmail charges for imposing bans

By Mike Head, 8 December 2015

The use of the criminal law to punish industrial action is a bid to wind the clock back to the nineteenth century.

Australian state government sells power generator for next to nothing

By Terry Cook, 7 December 2015

The power trade unions have diverted workers’ opposition into harmless protests while helping axe thousands of jobs through “voluntary” redundancies.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 December 2015

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Australian government unveils new pro-business “reforms”

By Mike Head, 28 November 2015

Entire areas of “human services”—including public health and education—will be thrown open to exploitation by cost-cutting corporate operators.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 November 2015

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Toyota worker denounces union over shutdown of Australian car industry

By our reporter, 21 November 2015

“The only people who will win out from this closure are the company and the unions.”

BlueScope praises Australian unions for pushing through job destruction at Port Kembla

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 November 2015

The company will now try to use the threat to close the steel plant to extract more cuts to wages and conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 November 2015

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Australian unemployment figures provoke disbelief and criticism

By Terry Cook, 20 November 2015

Despite mounting job losses, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for October recorded an unexplained fall in the unemployment rate.

Australian unions force through steel job cuts and wage freeze

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 November 2015

A significant minority of workers rejected the company-union blackmail.

Australian maritime union betrays Hutchison workers

By Richard Phillips, 18 November 2015

Hutchison management thanked the union for giving the company “greatly enhanced flexibility.”

Australian unions seek to ram through job destruction at BlueScope Steel

By Oscar Grenfell and James Cogan, 17 November 2015

Opposition has steadily increased to the union’s efforts to blackmail workers into voting to slash their own conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 November 2015

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Australia: Growing opposition to union-company deal at Port Kembla steelworks

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 November 2015

The unions are seeking to intimidate workers into accepting 500 job cuts, a wage-freeze and an overhaul of working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 November 2015

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Chevron to slash hundreds of jobs at Australian gas projects

By Terry Cook, 6 November 2015

The resources giant is eliminating up to 14,000 jobs globally, underscoring the sharp reversal in the mining sector.

Australian financial commentator hails union role in steel cuts at Port Kembla

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 November 2015

The so-called negotiations had the character of a union-company conspiracy against the BlueScope workers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 October 2015

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Australian electricity unions go to industrial tribunal to assist job shedding

By Terry Cook, 27 October 2015

A directive by the Fair Work Commission ordering the reinstatement of 74 workers amounts to nothing more than a temporary stay of execution.

Major shareholder predicts closure of Australian steel plant

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2015

The comments underscore that the attack on the Port Kembla workers is part of a global restructuring of the steel industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 October 2015

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Australian public sector union in closed-door talks with government

By Terry Cook, 17 October 2015

After closed-door talks, the CPSU is working with the new Turnbull government to break up resistance by public sector workers to its cost-cutting demands.

Amid moves to sell-out Hutchison workers, Maritime Union of Australia threatens WSWS

By James Cogan, 14 October 2015

The MUA’s main fear is that the alternative perspective provided by the WSWS has won an audience among waterfront workers.

Australian dock, engineering workers express solidarity with US autoworkers

By our correspondents, 13 October 2015

Workers involved in bitter industrial disputes on the Australian waterfront and at engineering company UGL have spoken out in support of American autoworkers.

Australia: Union keeps tram workers in dark over new agreement

By our correspondent, 13 October 2015

The RTBU has declared that workers will see the full enterprise bargaining agreement with Yarra Trams only after a vote is taken on it.

Australian Toyota workers support US auto workers’ struggle

By our correspondents, 12 October 2015

Autoworkers in Australia face the shutdown of the country's entire auto industry.

Oppose the destruction of the car industry in Australia! Launch a struggle in defence of jobs!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 10 October 2015

The closure of the car plants is not inevitable, but it can only be fought on the basis of a new political perspective and new forms of organisation.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 October 2015

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Unions push sweeping cuts to Australian steel workers’ jobs and conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 October 2015

The deal hatched by the unions and BlueScope involves hundreds of sackings and a wage freeze.

Australian maritime union moves to sell out Hutchison dispute

By Mike Head, 7 October 2015

Under the MUA agreement, all Hutchison workers will be required to work for half pay, or less.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 October 2015

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Australia: Union imposes job cuts at UGL, defying workers’ votes

By Mike Head, 30 September 2015

Workers accuse the AMWU of paving the way for the next round of redundancies.

Australia: Union shuts down industrial action by public transport workers

By Frank Gaglioti, 29 September 2015

Workers are being deliberately kept in the dark over deals being struck by the unions and management behind closed doors.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 September 2015

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Australian public sector workers reject government pay offer

By Terry Cook, 25 September 2015

The CPSU has kept workers divided along departmental lines, while appealing to the Turnbull government for negotiations on its cost-cutting demands.

Unions push protectionism while pledging to impose steel job cuts at Wollongong rally

By Zac Hambides, 22 September 2015

At a “Save Our Steel” rally the unions sought to channel the anger over job losses into nationalist calls for governments to subsidise local steel producers.

Australian UGL workers condemn union’s role in retrenchments

By Mike Head, 21 September 2015

Workers at UGL’s Auburn railway workshops in Sydney last week responded warmly to a Socialist Equality Party leaflet.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 September 2015

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Australian tram drivers strike over jobs and conditions

By Margaret Rees, 14 September 2015

As tram workers hold limited stoppages, the Victorian Premier Labor threatens to do whatever is necessary “to protect the economic interests of the state.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 September 2015

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UGL workers face deepening job cuts in Australia and Asia

By the Socialist Equality Party, 11 September 2015

The layoffs by a major engineering company are part of a wider barrage of job destruction throughout Australia and internationally.

Australia: State Labor government attacks striking train staff

By Margaret Rees, 7 September 2015

For the second time in two weeks, the Victorian government tried to ban industrial action by low-paid rail workers.

Australian 7-Eleven workers under-paid and super-exploited

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 September 2015

Convenience store workers, often vulnerable international students, are forced to work for half-pay.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 September 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

South Australian government and private corporations axe thousands of jobs

By Terry Cook, 4 September 2015

Unemployment in the state is climbing as major companies and the Labor government restructure and slash costs.

BlueScope Steel workers speak with the WSWS

By our reporters, 3 September 2015

BlueScope Steel workers from the company’s Port Kembla plant, south of Sydney spoke with the World Socialist Web Site reporters at an early morning mass meeting in Wollongong yesterday . The Australian Workers Union (AWU) and other unions have responded to the management’s threat to shut the plant, Australia’s largest steel making plant, by promising to assist the company slash up to 500 jobs as part of $200 million cost-cutting restructure.

Australian steel unions enforce destruction of jobs and conditions

By Richard Phillips, 3 September 2015

The unions have pledged to defend BlueScope Steel’s profits and provide the company with $200 million in cost-cutting measures.

Australian mining giant replaces Blackwater workers with contractors

By Declan O’Malley, 2 September 2015

The mining union is pleading with the company to keep collaborating in cutting costs at the expense of jobs and conditions.

Union collaborates in attacks on New Zealand Steel workers

By Tom Peters, 29 August 2015

BlueScope Steel is threatening to shut down its Glenbrook steel plant in New Zealand and axe over 1,000 jobs.

Australia: Melbourne tram drivers strike over wages and conditions

By our correspondents, 29 August 2015

Despite denunciations by the Victorian state Labor government, metropolitan train drivers have voted for a similar stoppage next Friday.

Australia: Hutchison Ports dispute at the crossroads

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 29 August 2015

Left in the hands of the MUA, the outcome is a foregone conclusion: the further destruction of the jobs and conditions of waterfront workers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 August 2015

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Australia: BlueScope Steel demands mass job cuts under threat of plant closure

By Terry Cook, 26 August 2015

The Australian Workers Union has immediately signalled that it will help impose BlueScope Steel’s job-cutting measures.

New Zealand rail company prepares further job cuts

By our reporter, 22 August 2015

Successive Labour and National-led governments, assisted by the unions, have already devastated the railway system over the past three decades.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 August 2015

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Australian transport union calls off Melbourne train and tram strike

By Terry Cook, 20 August 2015

The state Labor government reacted with undisguised hostility to the prospect of the first public transport strike in Melbourne since 1997.

Australian union sells out Woolworths warehouse strikers

By our correspondents, 19 August 2015

After isolating the walkout and telling workers that they could face crippling fines, the NUW pushed through a return-to-work vote.

Sacked Hutchison workers barred entry after Australian union sells out strike

By Richard Phillips, 15 August 2015

The court ruling gave the union precisely what it wanted: to shut down the strike and demobilise workers, while it manoeuvres for a negotiated job-cutting deal.

Australia: Union officials force SEP supporters off Sydney dock picket

By Zac Hambides, 15 August 2015

The unions are trying to silence criticism because they cannot answer the truth—they are carrying out a betrayal of the Hutchison workers.

Melbourne transport workers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 15 August 2015

After almost unanimous votes for industrial action, the union is seeking to cobble together a sellout deal with the state Labor government.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 August 2015

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Australian waterfront union betrays Hutchison strike

By Mike Head, 14 August 2015

While claiming a “victory,” as it did in 1998, the MUA is sending the Hutchison Ports workers back to work today, with many to lose their jobs.

Australian warehouse workers defy court order to end strike

By our correspondents, 13 August 2015

The Woolworths workers have become the second group of strikers currently defying return to work orders, following similar votes by Hutchison Port workers Brisbane and Sydney.

Hutchison Ports’ sackings in Australia and the global restructuring of the docks

By Mike Head, 12 August 2015

Hutchison is rolling out remotely-controlled automated terminals around the world, ruthlessly destroying jobs and conditions.