Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

New Zealand Meat Workers Union calls off two-day strike

By John Braddock, 12 August 2015

The unions have been operating from the outset to isolate and wear down workers in the protracted 18-month dispute over AFFCO’s demands for further cuts to working conditions.

Hutchison workers continue strike as Australian union calls for “negotiated” job cuts

By Richard Phillips, 11 August 2015

The MUA has responded to an industrial commission return-to-work directive by denying it has any involvement in the waterfront walkout.

Sacked Hutchison workers speak out

By our reporters, 10 August 2015

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke with sacked Hutchison Port Australia workers at Sydney’s Port Botany terminal over the past two days. Workers described Hutchison’s high-productivity regime and how the company lured workers from various stevedoring companies, as well as airline, manufacturing and logistics businesses, promising them long-term employment.

Hutchison Australia waterfront workers continue strike action

By Richard Phillips, 10 August 2015

No faith can be placed in the union, which has collaborated with waterfront companies for decades in restructuring that has destroyed thousands of jobs.

Australian business demands deeper cuts to wages and conditions

By Mike Head, 7 August 2015

The Productivity Commission report sets out a framework for cutting wages and conditions to the levels already imposed on workers in Europe and America.

Australian job cuts mount

By our reporter, 4 August 2015

Thousands more mining-related workers are expected to lose their jobs during the next 12 months, with the impact spreading across the country.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 July 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 July 2015

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Hypocrisy all round as Australian Labor leader testifies at royal commission

By Mike Head, 10 July 2015

There is nervousness in ruling circles about the potential of the revelations to intensify the popular hostility toward the entire political establishment.

Australian state government to slash hundreds of electricity jobs

By Terry Cook, 10 July 2015

Networks NSW jobs are being eliminated to cut costs and make the sale of its businesses more attractive to potential buyers.

Labor leader pledges support for further privatisations

By Terry Cook, 10 July 2015

New South Wales Labor Opposition leader Luke Foley dedicated a substantial part of his state budget reply speech last month to assure the financial elite that Labor, in or out of office, remained the privatisation party par excellence.

Unemployed forced to “work for the dole” in Australia

By Zac Hambides, 6 July 2015

Thousands of unemployed workers are now being forced to carry out unpaid work in exchange for welfare payments.

Australia Post to axe another 1,900 jobs in preparation for privatisation

By Keith Morgan, 4 July 2015

The claim of mail business losses is a smokescreen to eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs over the next three years.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 July 2015

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Australian treasurer denies housing affordability crisis

By Terry Cook, 24 June 2015

Rampant speculation by banks and property developers, encouraged by government tax breaks, has produced an astronomical increase in housing prices.

Australian Labor leader defends “modern” union deals to boost corporate profits

By Mike Head, 23 June 2015

Bill Shorten spelt out the role of the trade unions as industrial police forces over their members.

Australian Labor leader under fire over “sweetheart” deals with employers

By Mike Head, 17 June 2015

The posturing of both the prime minister and opposition leader as defenders of low-paid workers reeks of hypocrisy.

Australian cleaners denied penalty rates by trade union for more than a decade

By our reporters, 17 June 2015

Cleanevent workers speak to the WSWS about their poor pay and conditions, and the role of the Australian Workers Union.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 June 2015

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Australian government vilifies human rights commissioner

By Mike Head, 8 June 2015

Commissioner Triggs warned of a “growing threat to democracy” produced by terrorism laws, refugee detention, mandatory sentencing and anti-association legislation.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 June 2015

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Australian union boosted membership lists by imposing low wages

By Mike Head, 5 June 2015

The Australian Workers Union agreement saved Cleanevent $6 million over three years, at the expense of low-paid casual cleaners.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 May 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 May 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 April 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 April 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

11 April 2015

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Mass strike by Vietnamese shoe workers

By Ben McGrath, 6 April 2015

As many as 90,000 workers conducted a week-long strike against a government attack on their social insurance benefits.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 April 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 March 2015

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Australian trade unions spearhead slashing of wage penalty rates

By Mike Head, 26 March 2015

The agreement sends a wider signal: the unions and the Labor Party are ready to enforce an all-out assault on wages and working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 March 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 March 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 March 2015

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Australian union rallies seek to divert anger over attacks on wages and services

By our reporters, 5 March 2015

The ACTU staged a “National Day of Action” yesterday to try to head off the intense hostility among workers to the mounting assault on wages, working conditions and social services.

Australian workers denounce budget cuts and austerity drive

By our correspondents, 5 March 2015

Workers from a variety of industries spoke to WSWS correspondents after yesterday’s trade union rallies in Sydney and Melbourne, explaining what issues led them to join the protests and discussing the political questions raised by the speakers’ promotion of the perspective of returning another Labor government.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 February 2015

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Australian prime minister’s leadership continues to unravel

By Mike Head, 26 February 2015

Underlying the destabilisation is mounting business dissatisfaction with the Abbott government’s failure to impose deep cuts to social spending and workers’ wages and conditions.

Australia: Aurizon workers confront deep assault on conditions

By Terry Cook, 25 February 2015

Amid plummeting coal prices, the rail freight company is seeking to dismantle long-standing working conditions and protections for its Queensland workforce.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 February 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 February 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 February 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 January 2015

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Australian Productivity Commission launches wage-cutting review

By Mike Head, 27 January 2015

The inquiry openly canvasses abolishing penalty wage rates for after-hours work and scrapping the minimum wage.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 January 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 January 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 January 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 December 2014

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Toyota Australia details restructuring plans after 2017 shutdown

By Will Morrow, 6 December 2014

The trade unions have been the key accomplices of the companies, along with state and federal governments, in organising the shutdown of the auto industry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 November 2014

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Australian meat workers to face new attacks after JBS buys Primo Group

By Richard Phillips, 27 November 2014

JBS’s rapid expansion over the past nine years has been driven by an unrelenting assault on jobs, wages and conditions.

Australian mining services workers reject 25 percent pay cut

By Declan O’Malley and Mike Head, 22 November 2014

Hastings Deering’s ultimatum points to an intensification of the assault against jobs and conditions in the mining industry.

Australia’s housing bubble fuels a social disaster

By Mike Head, 20 November 2014

Working class households are increasingly priced out of buying a home, while thousands of properties lie vacant.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 November 2014

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 November 2014

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Broken Nation: A glimpse of Australian anti-war sentiment in World War I

By Will Morrow, 6 November 2014

It is significant—and to Joan Beaumont’s credit—that her latest book lifts the lid, albeit within definite limits, on anti-war opposition in the working class.

Australia: Wages slashed to boost corporate profits

By Terry Cook, 1 November 2014

The cost-cutting drive is intensifying amid the implosion of the mining boom, with export prices falling sharply and thousands of jobs being destroyed by mine closures.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 November 2014

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 October 2014

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Western Australian government announces further public sector job cuts

By Joe Lopez, 14 October 2014

With the reversal of the mining boom, both the state government and the Labor opposition agree that the working class must pay the price.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

11 October 2014

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Australia: 500 more public sector jobs to go in Tasmania

By Terry Cook, 7 October 2014

The state government withdrew its pay freeze and declared it will axe a further 500 jobs, bringing the total to 1,200 since the August budget.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 October 2014

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Job cuts mounting in Australia as mining slump intensifies

By Terry Cook, 26 September 2014

In the past week alone, coal mine closures in central Queensland have directly destroyed another 700 jobs.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 September 2014

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Caltex Australia’s restructuring cuts hundreds more jobs

By Terry Cook, 4 September 2014

The oil company’s share price jumped to a record high after slashing 350 further jobs to deliver cost savings of around $100 million a year.

Suicides highlight harsh conditions in Australia’s mining industry

By Joe Lopez, 2 September 2014

Nine Pilbara “Fly In Fly Out” workers have committed suicide in the past 12 months, despite an earlier federal parliamentary inquiry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 August 2014

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23 August 2014

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Australia: Sydney university staff and students oppose job cuts

By Zac Hambides, 14 August 2014

Sydney university students and staff are being diverted into another round of bankrupt appeals to the campus administration and the Labor opposition to stop job cuts.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 August 2014

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 August 2014

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Australia Post report points to massive cuts to jobs and services

By Keith Morgan, 25 July 2014

A consultants’ report reveals advanced plans to wind back postal deliveries, outsource more jobs and cut wages.

Australian youth and workers denounce cuts to Sunday pay rates

By our reporters, 16 July 2014

The decision will have devastating consequences for tens of thousands of poorly-paid workers.

Low attendance at Australian anti-budget rallies exposes unions’ role

By James Cogan, 7 July 2014

Workers stayed away from the protests because they do not view the unions as organisations that fight for their interests.

Workers and youth denounce Australian budget

By our reporters, 7 July 2014

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke with workers and youth attending protests yesterday [insert link] in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle against the Abbott government’s budget measures. None were aware that the main budget appropriation bills had already been passed by Labor and the Greens in the Senate.

Australian government report outlines dismantling of welfare system

By Richard Phillips, 1 July 2014

The proposed measures would see thousands of people forced into deeper poverty and low-wage employment.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 June 2014

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 June 2014

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Australia Post slashes 900 jobs in preparation for privatisation

By Keith Morgan, 18 June 2014

Up to 10,000 jobs are expected to be eliminated over the next three years to make the postal service an attractive proposition for a corporate buyer.

Ford announces 250 forced redundancies in Australia

By our correspondent, 18 June 2014

The move points to an accelerating shut down of the automotive industry in the country, orchestrated by governments, corporations and the unions.

Fight budget austerity! A socialist perspective for Australian workers

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 12 June 2014

This leaflet was distributed at trade union “Bust the Budget” rallies in Sydney and Melbourne.

Australian industrial watchdog goes after West Australian construction workers’ homes

By Zac Hambides, 7 June 2014

The prosecution, which began under the previous Labor governments, is part of an escalating assault on democratic rights.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 June 2014

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 May 2014

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Australia: Fairfax journalists strike over job cuts

By Richard Phillips, 9 May 2014

Journalists, photographers and other staff are being axed in a new round of job destruction at one of Australia’s largest media corporations.

Australia: Plunging coal prices herald new mine closures and job cuts

By Terry Cook, 5 May 2014

Over the past two years, coal producers have already slashed 12,000 jobs, including 8,000 in Queensland alone.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 April 2014

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Australia: Socialist Alliance holds bogus “defend Geelong jobs” rally

By Will Marshall, 12 April 2014

Far from being a fight to defend jobs, the rally was aimed at promoting the Labor Party and unions, which bear full responsibility for the devastation of cities like Geelong.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 April 2014

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Young workers super-exploited in Australian meat industry

By Keith Morgan, 10 April 2014

Young Asian workers on temporary visas are being systematically underpaid and mistreated.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 March 2014

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 March 2014

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Australia: Ex-Labor minister urges sweeping attack on workers’ conditions

By Terry Cook, 19 March 2014

Martin Ferguson accused the Abbott government of being too “timid” on industrial relations “reform.”

Australian government signals breakup of Qantas airline

By Mike Head, 5 March 2014

Prime Minister Abbott made clear that Qantas must continue to axe workers’ jobs and conditions.

Australia: Aurizon coal train drivers locked out

By Terry Cook, 3 March 2014

Big business regards the dispute as an important test case for a wider corporate drive to slash wages and conditions throughout the mining and energy sectors.

Australian trade unions move to enforce Qantas layoffs, wage cuts

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 March 2014

The unions have no problem with making workers bear the cost of the Qantas crisis, but want to maintain their privileged position within the airline industry.

Australian regional brewery closure announced

By Joshua Newsham, 1 March 2014

In one shutdown after another, the unions have functioned on behalf of management to suppress any struggle to defend jobs.

Australia: Qantas Airways to cut 5,000 jobs and impose wage freeze

By James Cogan, 27 February 2014

The job destruction flows directly from the cut-throat competition for market share and profits among rival transnational airline alliances since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Australian “union corruption” inquiry targets workers

By Terry Cook, 25 February 2014

The Royal Commission witchhunt is part of a sweeping drive to dismantle working conditions.