Australia

Australia: Coles warehouse workers in Melbourne denounce lock-out of Smeaton Grange workers and the union

By Our reporters, 25 January 2021

“I didn’t know about the picket because the union didn’t tell us. We’ve had only one meeting since I started in July last year.”

Australia: Inquiry reveals chronic under funding and lengthy wait times for South-West Sydney health services

By Clare Bruderlin, 25 January 2021

The healthcare crisis is a direct result of the decimation of public health services by consecutive state and federal government, Labor and Liberal-National alike, with union support.

Australia: Reject union sell-out of Smeaton Grange Coles workers!

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 January 2021

There is substantial opposition to the betrayal, but it can be defeated only through a rebellion against the UWU and the establishment of new organisations of genuine struggle.

Massive loss of jobs and hours continues in Australia, showing real face of “recovery”

By Mike Head, 23 January 2021

More than three million workers remain unemployed or “underemployed” and another 1.5 million are on JobKeeper wage subsidies that the government is terminating in March.

Chinese healthcare workers demand unpaid wages; Construction workers strike in Myanmar; New Zealand home support workers locked out

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 January 2021

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

More workers and youth speak on the life and political legacy of Australian Trotskyist Barry Jobson

By our reporters, 22 January 2021

Jobson, a railway worker, joined the Trotskyist movement in 1974 and dedicated his adult life to the struggle for socialist internationalism in the working class.

Australian Labor leader hails US alliance as Biden is inaugurated

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 January 2021

Albanese’s line was that a Labor government would be best placed to deepen the US-Australia alliance under the new Democratic Party administration, as it prepares for war with China.

Watch: Meeting commemorates decades-long Australian Trotskyist Barry Jobson

20 January 2021

At a meeting on Sunday, SEP speakers reviewed Barry Jobson’s contribution to the fight for socialist internationalism, in the context of the deepening crisis of Australian and world capitalism.

SEP meeting honours the life and political legacy of Australian Trotskyist Barry Jobson

By Our reporters, 20 January 2021

Jobson, a railway worker, joined the Trotskyist movement in 1974 and dedicated his adult life to the struggle for socialist internationalism in the working class.

Australia: Locked-out Coles workers reject company “offer” as union declares its “neutrality”

By Martin Scott and Oscar Grenfell, 20 January 2021

The United Workers Union is seeking to ram through a return to work on company terms as Coles prepares to permanently shutter the Smeaton Grange warehouse and destroy 350 jobs.

Trump coup attempt highlights official promotion of far-right in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 January 2021

The Morrison government’s refusal to condemn Trump’s coup attempt is bound up with the promotion of an extreme right-wing milieu in Australia.

Australian workers and youth demand freedom for Julian Assange

By Our reporters, 18 January 2021

“It has to be a grassroots movement from below to save Assange. A mass movement or mass support for him, rather than trying to appeal to the goodness of Australian politicians’ hearts.”

Australian Tennis Open proceeds despite growing COVID-19 infections

By Mike Head, 18 January 2021

“Profits before lives” is literally the theme under which the global season-opening event is taking place.

Hyundai steel workers in South Korea strike; Tamil Nadu primary school teachers protest; Australia: Svitzer tugboat workers walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 January 2021

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

Australian government invokes “national security” to ban Chinese infrastructure investments

By Mike Head, 16 January 2021

In effect, Chinese investment is now being banned across most of the economy, in preparation for military conflict.

Detainees on Australia’s Christmas Island continue protests against appalling conditions

By Max Boddy, 15 January 2021

The Australian Border Force has responded to the protests with violence and punitive segregation measures.

999 Australian workers and youth speak out for Julian Assange

15 January 2021

Australia: Highly infectious strain of COVID spreads in Queensland hotel quarantine

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 January 2021

For months, governments have rejected warnings from medical experts that private hotels in the middle of city centres are not equipped to be placed on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Australia: Regional high school teachers walk out over understaffing and unbearable workloads

By Kaye Tucker, 14 January 2021

The stoppage is the latest indication of growing opposition to the program of school amalgamations being enforced by the New South Wales Liberal government, with the assistance of Labor and the unions.

Australia: Victimised Chinese meatworker speaks with the WSWS

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 January 2021

Benson Wang is a Chinese immigrant meatworker who was allegedly assaulted and subsequently victimised at an abattoir operated by Midfield Group in Warrnambool, Victoria.

Australian government again refuses to condemn Trump coup

By Mike Head, 13 January 2021

The acting prime minister doubled down on the government’s stance even as evidence is emerging daily of the high-level involvement in the January 6 putsch.

Australian pseudo-left dismisses Trump’s fascist coup attempt as a “pathetic farce”

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 January 2021

Socialist Alternative is seeking to chloroform the working class by insisting that there is no fascist threat in the United States, even after last week’s coup attempt.

Report documents education inequality in Australia

By Carolyn Kennett, 12 January 2021

The data points to the long-term impacts on young people of a two-tiered system of education that perpetuates inequality.

Australia hit by more infectious coronavirus strains, B117

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 January 2021

Nearly twelve months into the global pandemic, the failure of state and federal governments to enact the most basic of precautions continues to be exposed.

Detainees protest inhuman conditions on Australia’s Christmas Island

By Max Boddy, 9 January 2021

After being denied the right to peacefully demonstrate, detainees set fire to mattresses and buildings in the immigration prison.

Pakistan: Doctors and health workers continue strike in Islamabad; Sri Lanka: Trainee teachers and health workers protest; Australia: NSW paramedics threaten industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

9 January 2021

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

Australian political and media establishment responds nervously to Trump coup attempt

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 January 2021

The Australian ruling class is fearful of the domestic and international implications of intense political instability and upheaval in the US, the centre of world capitalism and Australia’s chief strategic ally since World War II.

999 Refugees protest brutal conditions on Australia’s Christmas Island

8 January 2021

Australia: Locked-out Coles workers in Sydney confront a choice

By Jack Turner and Oscar Grenfell, 8 January 2021

Unless workers begin to take matters into their own hands, form a rank-and-file committee independent of the union and launch a political and industrial fight for jobs and conditions, they will be forced to accept whatever terms the company imposes.

Australian report documents “Blue Harvest” wage theft of international backpackers

By Virginia Browne, 8 January 2021

Illegal labour hire practises, severe underpayment and brutal exploitation of international backpackers are endemic in Australia.

After British extradition verdict, Australian government still refuses to defend Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 January 2021

In line with his government’s support for US-led wars and the accompanying assault on democratic rights, Prime Minister Scott Morrison immediately ruled out any attempt to secure Assange’s freedom.

Australia: Chinese immigrant meatworkers locked out after protesting alleged assault

By Jason Quill and Patrick O’Connor, 6 January 2021

The meatworkers' union acted as strike-breaker, shutting down the Chinese workers’ principled act of solidarity with their victimised colleague.

Australian government slashes minimal pandemic subsidies for workers and unemployed

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 January 2021

The cuts form part of a broader austerity offensive being enforced by Labor and Liberal governments at the state and federal levels, the trade unions and the largest corporations.

Australian government negligence threatens large-scale COVID-19 outbreak

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 January 2021

There are indications that the infection spread is on an exponential trajectory.

Australian Grosvenor Mine disaster inquiry further exposed as an official cover-up

By Terry Cook, 4 January 2021

The judge heading the government’s inquiry described the process as “compromised” and said that it may never establish the cause of the disaster.

Junior doctors walk out in India’s Bihar state; Sri Lankan plantation workers strike over wage cuts; Australian health workers demand better wages and conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 December 2020

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

Australian youth speak on their experiences during COVID-19

By Our reporters, 31 December 2020

One health agency reported a 72 percent increase in serious self-harm and suicidal-ideation cases in youth under 18 years during last weeks of Melbourne’s lockdown.

Coronavirus cluster continues to grow in Sydney, Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 December 2020

The government is prioritising the demands of big business over public health and safety.

Australia: Victorian Hotel Quarantine Inquiry finds “failure of governance”

By Martin Scott, 30 December 2020

Predictably, the report is a whitewash with the recommendations calling for little more than further investigation “as to the lines of accountability and responsibility between Departmental heads and Ministers.”

Australia: Hundreds of train drivers in Melbourne quit union to protest sell out

By Steve Streitberg, 29 December 2020

Drivers should form rank-and-file committees on every line and in every depot, with trusted workers elected to lead the fight against the new industrial agreement.

SEP public meeting: A tribute to Barry Jobson—Australian Trotskyist

24 December 2020

The life of Barry Jobson holds crucial political lessons for workers and young people coming into revolutionary struggle today and we encourage you to attend our online meeting on January 17.

United Workers Union organises return to work at Hanes warehouse in Australia

By Will Marshall, 24 December 2020

The union’s latest “victory” maintains the current low level of permanent jobs at the Melbourne site, where more than half the workforce has been casualised.

Jacobin publishes whitewash of union sell-out bid at Australian warehouse

By Jack Turner and Peter Symonds, 24 December 2020

Kelly’s article makes no mention of the role of the UWU, or indeed of any trade union, let alone their decades of betrayals.

China: Apple factory workers protest over jobs; Sri Lankan garment workers strike over cuts to annual bonus; New Zealand home care workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 December 2020

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

Australian COVID-19 outbreak underscores danger of corporate drive to lift safety restrictions

By Mike Head, 24 December 2020

Limited safety restrictions have been relaxed in Sydney, despite warnings from infectious diseases experts.

Australian government hires private debt collectors to hound welfare recipients

By Martin Scott, 23 December 2020

New tender documents reveal a stepped-up assault on the country’s most vulnerable as hundreds of thousands still await restitution for the unlawful “robodebt” scheme.

Australia: Victoria’s “Big Housing Build” a windfall for developers

By Paul Bartizan, 23 December 2020

The project continues the decades-long rundown of public housing and further privatises what is left.

Unions try to cover up their role at Australia Post

By Jim Franklin, 23 December 2020

No less than four union officials fronted about 40 workers at Sydney’s Alexandria delivery facility to attempt to stifle their anger over the Alternative Delivery Model, which has created intolerable working conditions.

Australian educators call for the defence of COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones

By Sue Phillips, 23 December 2020

Teachers and support staff at Footscray High in Melbourne met in the final days of the school year to show their support for Jones.

Top union bureaucrat in Australia lashes out at WSWS article

By Max Boddy, 22 December 2020

When challenged over her claims that the article was full of untruths, ACTU secretary Sally McManus provided no evidence and told the WSWS to “Google” it.

Australian arts and entertainment workers devastated by coronavirus pandemic

By Martin Scott, 22 December 2020

With tens of thousands of artists and technical crew out of work, little support is forthcoming from the federal government.

Australian COVID-19 outbreak spreads beyond Sydney, but governments reject calls for lockdowns and masks

By Mike Head, 22 December 2020

Already, the latest coronavirus “cluster” has escaped from Sydney’s northern beaches region across the city and interstate.

Musicians and performers speak with WSWS about COVID-19

By Our reporters, 22 December 2020

“The pandemic has laid bare many things, including government claims that it has no money.”

Sydney COVID-19 outbreak highlights global threat but Australian governments oppose effective safety restrictions

By Mike Head, 21 December 2020

Once again, the myth of Australia being an exception to the worldwide health emergency has been shattered.

COVID outbreak and China tensions expose Australian government bid to claim “recovery”

By Mike Head, 21 December 2020

The government’s own statistics show that more than three million workers remain dependent on poverty-line JobKeeper wage subsidies or JobSeeker dole payments, both of which are being slashed.

Bangladeshi health workers strike over wages; Sri Lankan teachers to demand COVID-19 protection; Offshore LNG maintenance workers strike in Western Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

19 December 2020

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

Sydney COVID-19 outbreak follows pro-business lifting of Australian safety restrictions

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2020

The emergence of the cluster follows a frenzied “reopening” campaign, aimed at maximising corporate profit-making, especially over the holiday season.

Australian “National Day of Action” a farce as union prepares to sell out Coles workers

By Martin Scott, 19 December 2020

The United Workers Union has declared the supermarket chain’s offer of a 3.5 percent pay rise “more than enough” for the locked-out workers.

Attacks on Australian university jobs deepen but union boasts it is “stronger”

By Mike Head, 18 December 2020

Judging by the NTEU’s annual report, the union leadership is proud of its achievement in presiding over unprecedented job losses.

Unions voice hypocritical alarm over Australian industrial relations bill

By Max Boddy, 17 December 2020

The bill is the product of months of secretive talks between employers, the government and the unions.

Australian union prepares to shut down struggle by locked-out Coles workers

By our correspondents, 16 December 2020

By pushing workers to agree to the company’s paltry wage increase, the United Workers Union underscored its determination to strike a bargain with Coles.

Australian intelligence review paves way for expanded political surveillance

By Mike Head, 16 December 2020

Buried away in the mammoth report, and barely mentioned in the corporate media, is an array of further anti-democratic powers.

Form rank-and-file committees at Australia Post to fight union-management restructure!

By Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 16 December 2020

In any struggle to defend their jobs and conditions, postal workers confront the trade unions as their enemies.

Australian Trotskyist Barry Jobson dies aged 78

By The Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 15 December 2020

From the time he joined the Socialist Labour League, predecessor of the SEP, in 1974 Comrade Barry was a tireless fighter for the program of Trotskyism in the working class, particularly in the Elcar railway workshops in the Sydney suburb of Chullora where he worked for many years.

Labor helps expand Australian spy agency’s secret interrogation powers

By Mike Head, 15 December 2020

Pushed through parliament in one day, the bill extends ASIO’s coercive questioning powers beyond terrorism to “foreign interference,” “espionage” and “politically motivated violence.”

Canada’s military seeks to cover its tracks following damning report on Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Penny Smith, 12 December 2020

In response to the release of a report exposing Australian military atrocities in Afghanistan, the Canadian Armed Forces has doubled down on its long-running efforts to cover up its own war crimes in the region.

Bangladeshi police assault protesting workers; Sri Lankan ambulance paramedics oppose sackings; South Australian brewery workers’ strike

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

12 December 2020

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

Committee for Public Education (Australia) online meeting discusses global struggles of teachers and educators

By Carolyn Kennett, 11 December 2020

Panellists explained the fight for rank-and-file committees to provide the deep-seated opposition to the reopening of schools a political direction and leadership.

Australian law rushed through to veto agreements with China

By Mike Head, 10 December 2020

The passage of the legislation marks another escalation in the Australian ruling elite’s alignment behind the US confrontation with Beijing, despite China being Australia’s largest export market.

Airline unions try to impose wage freeze deal with Virgin Australia

By Terry Cook, 9 December 2020

The unions are trying to ram through their agreements via online ballots, while providing their members with scant and misleading outlines of their contents.

Australian government’s citizenship cancellation sets anti-democratic precedent

By Mike Head, 8 December 2020

Benbrika has become a test case for police-state powers that can be invoked more broadly, including against anti-war and other political activists.

8 December 2020

999 SEP Australia online meeting report

8 December 2020

Strong response to Australian SEP meeting on COVID-19 and the lessons of 2020

By our reporter, 8 December 2020

SEP speakers detailed the global impact of COVID-19 on youth and workers and the revolutionary socialist program needed to combat the escalating social catastrophe created by the profit system.

Australian Greens on Afghan war crimes: Hypocrisy, hand-wringing and support for militarism

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 December 2020

The Greens have promoted the official cover-up as a “justice process,” while advancing proposals aimed at providing future predatory wars with a democratic figleaf.

More Australian university workers speak out on the loss of jobs and conditions

By Our correspondents, 7 December 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic being exploited by governments and managements to accelerate pro-market restructuring, affected university workers condemn the NTEU’s response.

Sri Lankan nurses and educators protest; Auto-parts workers strike for union rights in Tamil Nadu: Garbage truck drivers resume walkout in Queensland

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

5 December 2020

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

New Zealand government denounces China’s condemnation of Australian war crimes

By Tom Peters, 5 December 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did not condemn the murder of at least 39 unarmed people in Afghanistan by Australian special forces, but denounced a Chinese official’s tweet that drew attention to these war crimes.

Australian soldiers drank alcohol from prosthetic leg of dead Afghan

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 December 2020

Politicians and corporate journalists have maintained a stony silence on the gruesome revelation, while waging a furious campaign against a Chinese tweet condemning the war crimes.

Australian court upholds sacking of academic for criticising US and Israeli militarism

By Mike Head, 3 December 2020

The court’s anti-democratic ruling further shreds academic freedom, as well as trade union claims to have protected it via enterprise bargaining agreements.

Australian ruling elite responds to Chinese condemnation of Afghan war crimes with nationalist hysteria

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 December 2020

Having covered up and downplayed the atrocities against Afghan civilians, Australia’s official parties and the corporate media are up in arms about a tweet condemning the war crimes.

Australian war crimes report: A damning indictment of the barbarity in Afghanistan

By Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 2 December 2020

The depraved abuses flowed inevitably from the nature of the war itself—a brutal operation to crush all resistance to the imposition of US control over the country.

COVID-19 and the lessons of 2020: A socialist perspective for the struggles ahead

1 December 2020

The Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality in Australia are holding an online public meeting to discuss the program the working class must adopt to fight the social, economic and political crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rent debt “bomb” points to depth of social crisis in Australia

By Mike Head, 1 December 2020

Hundreds of thousands of working-class households could face eviction as temporary COVID-19 pandemic moratoriums end.

Australia: Coles imposes three-month lockout on 350 warehouse workers

By our reporters, 30 November 2020

The attack by the supermarket chain is aimed at establishing a brutal precedent for other distribution centres and workers’ conditions more broadly.

Bangladeshi garment workers demand unpaid wages; Sri Lankan hospital workers protest for better conditions; LNG platform workers in Western Australia continue strike

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

28 November 2020

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

Australian paramedics under mounting pressure

By Margaret Rees, 28 November 2020

Even before they were placed on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, paramedics reported the highest rates of workplace injury of any occupation.

Australian PM seeks to protect revenue from China while reasserting US alliance

By Mike Head, 27 November 2020

Morrison pleaded that Australia should not have to choose between its “enduring alliance” with the US and a “beneficial relationship” with China.

Union official denounces WSWS, seeks to intimidate workers at Australia Post meeting

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 November 2020

At a meeting last week, a CEPU official responded to a workers’ call for collective action with a hysterical outburst against the World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party.

Australian war crimes report points to history of military atrocities and coverups

By Mike Head, 26 November 2020

For all the mythology of heroic and honourable armed forces, the report outlines more than a century of illegal killings, massacres and other abuses.

Australia: Residents speak out against northern NSW school closures

By Kaye Tucker, 26 November 2020

“For families like mine, this is a real panic situation! I’m in social housing and very grateful to have a roof over our heads, but if I can’t give my son a quality education in the area, then I am going to have to move.”

University of Sydney staff hold walk-out, protest sackings of entire departments

By Jack Turner, 24 November 2020

The latest retrenchments include entire departments, taking the attack on jobs and conditions to a qualitatively new level.

Labor governments presided over most confirmed Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 November 2020

Many of the war crimes flowed out of Labor’s escalation of Australia’s role in the occupation of Afghanistan, including in US-led “kill or capture” operations.

New Zealand government, media downplay Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Tom Peters, 24 November 2020

Prime Minister Ardern did not condemn the Australian war crimes, as her government has sought to cover up similar atrocities committed by New Zealand special forces.

Australian university union blocks opposition as cuts to jobs and conditions intensify

By Mike Head, 24 November 2020

Every week brings new announcements of retrenchments as the managements exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate pro-business restructuring.

Embattled Australian Labor Party leader appeals for business support

By Mike Head, 23 November 2020

Albanese used a corporate fundraiser to declare Labor is “pro-aspiration, pro-entrepreneurship, pro-wealth creation and pro-growth.”

Australia: Union shuts down nurses’ strike at Sydney’s Blacktown Hospital

By Clare Bruderlin, 23 November 2020

Nurses and midwives walked out because of the deaths of five babies at the hospital in under two years, ongoing staffing shortages and concerns about patient safety.

CFPE online meeting: The global fight for educator and student safety in the COVID-19 pandemic

By The CFPE (Australia), 21 November 2020

The Committee for Public Education (CFPE) invites educators, students and working people in Australia and internationally to participate in an online meeting on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools, college, universities and other educational institutions.

India: Karnataka college staff strike over unpaid salaries; Tamil Nadu tea plantation workers protest; Australian supermarket warehouse workers locked out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

21 November 2020

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

Pandemic-related surge of mental health issues continues in Australia

By John Mackay, 21 November 2020

A recent report found that the mental health of three out of four people has been negatively affected by COVID-19, while calls to crisis and suicide lines have soared.