Australia

Union opposes worker’s call for a fight against pro-business Australia Post restructure

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 16 November 2020

At a meeting in Sydney, a union official shot down a worker’s demand for a political and industrial struggle against the pro-business restructure of the postal service that is creating intolerable conditions and clears the way for privatisation.

Australia: Obstetricians at Sydney’s Blacktown Hospital threaten to resign amid the deaths of four babies in 18 months

By Clare Bruderlin, 16 November 2020

Doctors take a stand as understaffing crisis highlights the fragility of the public health system even without a COVID-19 resurgence.

Strikes and protests develop across India, Pakistan and Indonesia, agreement disputes erupt in Australia and strikes break out in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

14 November 2020

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

Australian Royal Commission covers up causes of aged care crisis

By Clare Bruderlin, 13 November 2020

The commission, while pointing to the dire conditions confronting aged care residents, recommended largely cosmetic “solutions,” which will not resolve the crisis and are not enforceable.

Australia: Growing opposition to planned school closures in northern NSW

By Kaye Tucker and Oscar Grenfell, 12 November 2020

The plan to establish a “super-school” in Murwillumbah has provoked widespread opposition from parents and teachers who have warned of possible job cuts, land privatisation and school overcrowding.

Australian government slashes JobSeeker to force more workers into low-paid jobs

By Mike Head, 12 November 2020

Both major parties agree on using the mass unemployment and financial distress triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic to further restructure economic and social relations in the interests of the capitalist class.

Forty-five years since the Canberra Coup

By James Cogan, 11 November 2020

The WSWS is republishing our article posted 40 years after the November 11, 1975 removal of the Whitlam Labor government by the Governor-General John Kerr in what became known as the “Canberra Coup.”

Australian Senate passes motion acknowledging “alleged” persecution of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 November 2020

The feckless motion did not demand Assange’s freedom, nor condemn his threatened extradition to the US.

Face-to-face teaching resumed at Australian universities, despite continuing COVID-19 cases

By Carolyn Kennett, 10 November 2020

Despite the clear dangers, the trade unions covering university workers—such as the National Tertiary Education Union—have mounted no opposition to the return to campuses.

Australian political elite rushes to salute Biden and re-affirm US alliance

By Mike Head, 10 November 2020

The statements of the government and opposition Labor Party signalled an unequivocal alignment with Washington’s escalating confrontation with China.

BP refinery closure threatens hundreds of jobs in Western Australia

By Terry Cook, 10 November 2020

The closure is part of a vicious global restructuring of the sector by the major oil companies, to cut costs and offset the impact of a slump in oil prices.

Australian university workers speak out on the destruction of their jobs and conditions

By our reporters, 10 November 2020

“It’s how the system is designed, it facilitates exploitation.”

Australian bushfire report aids government whitewash on climate change and lack of resources

By Margaret Rees, 9 November 2020

First and foremost, the inquiry report holds no one, least of all the government, responsible for the catastrophe.

Australia’s first “foreign interference” arrest targets Liberal Party figure accused of links to China

By Mike Head, 7 November 2020

Duong’s prosecution is regarded by the corporate media in both Australia and the US as a test case for the “anti-influence” legislation.

Health and other workers across Asia fight for unpaid wages, COVID-19 allowances and PPE; strikes break out in Australia over new enterprise agreements

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 November 2020

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

Australian report reveals widespread food insecurity

By John Harris, 6 November 2020

Currently, 43 percent of all food insecure people are going a whole day without eating at least once a week, compared to 30 percent in 2019.

Australian billionaires celebrate skyrocketing wealth while pandemic forces workers into poverty

By Max Boddy, 5 November 2020

The combined fortunes of Australia’s richest 200 individual and families increased by a staggering $82 billion during the past year.

999 Food bank report reveaIs mounting hunger in AustraIia

4 November 2020

Australian central bank joins “quantitative easing” as global crash deepens

By Mike Head, 4 November 2020

The Reserve Bank of Australia warned of a “downside risk to the outlook” because of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Europe.

Australian government uses bushfire report to demand emergency powers

By Mike Head, 3 November 2020

The royal commission’s “legislative model” would give the prime minister the power to mobilise troops without any request by a state or territory.

Australian troops accused of Abu Ghraib, My Lai-style war crimes in Afghanistan

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 November 2020

An official 2016 report, now partially revealed, is part of a protracted government cover-up.

Australia: Queensland Labor holds office by exploiting pandemic concerns

By Gary Alvernia, 2 November 2020

Labor postured as a protector of the population from COVID-19, but will now unveil austerity measures in a delayed December budget.

More than Cartier watches involved in executive spending scandal at Australia Post

By Oscar Grenfell, 31 October 2020

All sections of the ruling elite are committed to the privatisation of the national postal service and an assault on workers’ jobs, wages and conditions.

Australian ruling elite again demands premature lifting of pandemic restrictions

By Mike Head, 31 October 2020

The similar ending of safety measures caused the COVID-19 catastrophes, now engulfing hospitals throughout Europe, the US and many other parts of the world.

Labor’s health cut plan a warning on eve of Australian state election

By Gary Alvernia, 30 October 2020

By demanding $1 billion in “savings” by Queensland Health, the Labor Party has pointed to a pandemic-accelerated assault on social spending.

Indian health and public sector workers strike; Chinese courier drivers protest over unpaid wages; hospital workers and nurses threaten strikes in Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 October 2020

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

New report outlines accelerating inequality in Australia, amid rising social distress

By Linda Tenenbaum, 30 October 2020

The University of NSW and the Australian Council of Social Services have co-authored a significant report on income wealth and inequality, both before and during the pandemic.

Australian university union runs limited “wage theft” campaign

By Gabriela Zabala, 29 October 2020

The NTEU claims to have been unaware of the level of exploitation and underpayment, especially of casuals.

The WSWS and the fight to free political prisoners

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 October 2020

The remarks below were given by Oscar Grenfell, a member of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) national committee.

Australia Post workers speak out: “We don’t have any faith in the unions”

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 28 October 2020

Two workers voiced support for the formation of rank-and-file committees to fight the union-enforced restructure of Australia Post.

The Nightingale: Australia’s brutal colonial past exposed

By Jason Quill, 27 October 2020

Jennifer Kent’s film follows Irish convict Clare Carroll through the Tasmanian wilderness in 1825, as she seeks revenge for a terrible act of violence committed against her family.

Australian spy agency raises new alarm about foreign “plot”

By Mike Head, 27 October 2020

This is not the first such lurid allegation by ASIO, accusing China of conspiring to take over Australia.

Australian environmental scientists face mounting censorship

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 October 2020

A report found that scientists in the government and private sectors are frequently compelled to modify their research and prevented from publicly-revealing their concerns.

Rally welcoming relaunch of WSWS

The pandemic has only accelerated the underlying contradictions of capitalism

By Cheryl Crisp, 27 October 2020

The remarks below were given by Cheryl Crisp, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia.

Australia: New COVID-19 infections follow reopening of Melbourne schools

By Patrick Kelly, 26 October 2020

The infection clusters underscore the dangers of reopening schools amid continued community transmission of COVID-19.

Bangladeshi union shuts down port workers national strike; Assam rail workers demand festival allowance; Western Australian workers protest after worksite death

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

24 October 2020

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

Australia: University of Melbourne IYSSE holds successful AGM despite anti-democratic measures

By Our correspondent, 24 October 2020

Held amid a COVID-19 lockdown, the meeting reflected the growing radicalisation among youth and students.

Mounting evidence of systemic Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 24 October 2020

The atrocities flowed inevitably from the nature of the war—a brutal operation to crush all resistance to the US military occupation of the impoverished country.

Australian universities pseudo-left “network” postpones forum at NTEU’s behest

By Mike Head, 23 October 2020

The NHEAN is opposed to any action that would threaten the role of the unions that have presided over the destruction of 90,000 university jobs since March.

Australian corporate elite demands lifting of all coronavirus safety restrictions

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2020

A hysterical campaign is underway, insisting that any public health measures are an unacceptable impost on the wealth and profits of the financial aristocracy.

Australia joins “Quad” military exercises directed against China

By Mike Head, 22 October 2020

None of the latest announcements explicitly named China as the target, but they flowed from a meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, India, Japan and Australia on October 6, where US Secretary of State Pompeo denounced Beijing.

Australian unions offer to protect employers from “wage theft” penalties

By Max Boddy, 21 October 2020

The agreement would give a green light for companies to continue to underpay workers, a practice that is rampant throughout the country.

Unions trying to suppress workers’ opposition to pro-business restructure at Australia Post

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 21 October 2020

The unions are adopting a cynical posture of concern toward workers, while enforcing the “Alternative Delivery Model.”

Queensland state election underscores political instability in Australia

By Gary Alvernia, 20 October 2020

While focussing on closing the state borders due to COVID-19, Labor is reassuring the corporate elite that a Labor government will meet all its requirements.

Roof deflection warnings ignored before young Australian construction worker killed

By Margaret Rees and Paul Bartizan, 20 October 2020

Perth apprentice Jonnie Hartshorn fell 20 metres to his death when the glass roof of a university building under construction collapsed despite concerns raised by other workers of excessive deflection.

Australian pseudo-left denies fascist danger in US presidential election crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2020

Socialist Alternative is attempting to chloroform the working class, insisting that the American ruling class would never resort to dictatorial rule.

Political scandal engulfs premier in Australia’s most populous state

By Mike Head, 19 October 2020

Behind the Berejiklian affair lies a history of “anti-corruption” inquiries, being used to execute political shifts in the state of New South Wales.

Andhra Pradesh textile workers strike; 400,000 Assam tea plantation workers walk out; Western Australia: Offshore LNG platform employees in Western Australia take action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 October 2020

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

Labor Party helps impose Australian military call-out laws for “emergencies”

By Mike Head, 16 October 2020

The “emergency” bill can cover civil unrest, industrial action or any other development regarded as a threat to the existing economic and political order.

Australian health union leader pleads guilty to corruption

By Cheryl Crisp, 15 October 2020

While they were imposing poverty-level wages and dire conditions on the workers they falsely claim to represent, several Health Services Union were looting the organisation’s treasury for their own purposes.

Australia: New South Wales wage freeze approved by Industrial Relations Commission

By Martin Scott, 14 October 2020

Growing numbers of workers are demanding industrial action while the unions are advocating impotent appeals to big business politicians.

Cuts to healthcare system responsible for Victoria’s coronavirus resurgence

By Margaret Rees, 13 October 2020

Mass health worker infections are the direct outcome of the gutting of the sector by successive state and federal governments, Labor and Liberal alike.

Australian citizens stranded by COVID-19 measures denounce Morrison government

By John Harris, 13 October 2020

“The rich are having no trouble circumnavigating the globe because they can still travel first class. It’s no big deal to them. Everyone who flies economy class is stuck and with no chance of getting in.”

Australia: Victoria University IYSSE holds successful AGM

By our correspondents, 12 October 2020

The meeting, attended by students, youth and workers, reviewed some of the lessons of Leon Trotsky’s life and political work.

Jobs bloodbath in Australia continues as companies restructure to slash costs

By Terry Cook, 12 October 2020

Employment relations expert warns the end of the JobKeeper scheme will leave workers exposed to a “redundancy bloodbath.”

Poverty to soar after Labor backs Australian budget

By Mike Head, 12 October 2020

The swift passage of the budget’s key measures demonstrates a close political partnership.

Deaths of Sydney delivery drivers expose dangerous conditions in the “gig economy”

By Max Boddy, 10 October 2020

The conditions in the sector are the direct result of the destruction of permanent full-time jobs, enforced by the trade unions.

Australian budget based on shaky foundations

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2020

One of the key assumptions of the Australian budget is that an effective COVID-19 vaccine will be developed and available to the population by the end of 2021.

Over 1.5 million Indian power workers protest against privatisation; Bangladeshi tea estate workers strike for higher pay: Pakistani government workers demand increased wages and pensions

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

10 October 2020

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

Australian Labor’s budget reply: Bipartisan backing for tax cuts to the rich, austerity for workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 October 2020

Anthony Albanese made clear yet again that Labor and the government march in lockstep when it comes to the pro-business response to the pandemic and the accompanying onslaught against the working class.

Australian inquiry hears Victorian quarantine hotel program plagued by “disorganisation, lack of appropriate staffing”

By Martin Scott, 8 October 2020

Health workers reveal the “shambolic” conditions that have contributed to as many as 768 deaths and 18,000 infections in the state.

Police shut down protests, fine students at University of Sydney

By Jack Turner, 8 October 2020

On the pretext of enforcing COVID-19 safety measures, the state government has deployed police to conduct anti-democratic operations on a university campus.

Australian budget: A bonanza for business at workers’ expense

By Mike Head, 7 October 2020

The bipartisan backing for this budget is a turning point in the restructuring of economic and social life in the interests of a tiny super-rich layer.

Australian government silent on calls to intervene in defence of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 October 2020

The silence of the government and Labor has been a green light for the abuses that Assange has been subjected to over the past month, and the entire US-led campaign to destroy him.

Pandemic exposes Australian employers’ exploitation of young backpackers

By Michael Smith, 6 October 2020

The political establishment’s only response to the abuses has been to expand such visa programs and extend them to jobless workers and school leavers.

UK plans to detain refugees on prison ships

By Robert Stevens, 6 October 2020

Repressive anti-immigration policies, in Britain and Australia alike, have been built up over decades by all political representatives of the ruling class.

Australian university trade union concedes up to 90,000 job losses

By Mike Head, 5 October 2020

This disaster is a staggering indictment of the NTEU and all those trying to keep university workers tied to the union.

US FBI officials trained Australian Federal Police “foreign interference” squad

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 October 2020

The revelation demonstrates that the US state has a central hand in the campaign against supposed “foreign interference” in Australia.

India: 13,000 teachers in Delhi strike over unpaid wages; Government doctors protest in Pakistan; LNG offshore maintenance workers to walk out in Western Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

3 October 2020

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

Australian teachers confront fast-tracked return to classrooms in Victoria

By Karen Maxwell, 3 October 2020

Behind the backs of teachers, the Australian Education Union is working closely with the state Labor Party government to stifle resistance.

Australian budget to slash taxes for the rich while hitting workers

By Mike Head, 3 October 2020

While mounting a further assault on working-class conditions, this is a crisis budget like no other in living memory.

Australian Labor Party leader demands budget “discipline” and “back to work”

By Mike Head, 2 October 2020

Anthony Albanese’s main pitch is for big business to again rely on a trade union-supported Labor government in a period of economic and political crisis.

Australia Post workers denounce union-enforced restructure, call for independent rank-and-file committees

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 2 October 2020

“On the eve of the biggest battle of our lives, the union has gone around in the middle of the night and emptied our guns of bullets. Just as the war begins they take away our right to withdraw our labour.”

Australian waterfront union shuts down industrial action at Patrick Terminals

By Patrick Davies, 2 October 2020

The Maritime Union of Australia is determined to contain and isolate the dispute while signalling its willingness to negotiate and impose company demands.

Australian unions plead for continued secretive talks with government and employers

By Mike Head, 1 October 2020

Behind closed doors, the union chiefs have been discussing how to keep suppressing working class opposition to the destruction of jobs, wages and basic conditions.

Australia Post workers speak out against union-enforced COVID-19 dangers and cuts to conditions

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 1 October 2020

“What used to be a job you would gladly retire on has now become like a job for contractors forever chasing their tail to meet deadlines with piecemeal payments.”

Australian police not charged over death of Aboriginal woman

By Karen Maxwell, 30 September 2020

The case demonstrates the increasing impunity with which the forces of the state treat the poorest and most oppressed sections of the working class.

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) holds online health workers’ forum

By our reporter, 29 September 2020

Australian health workers speak out over the lack of PPE and proper training to deal with COVID-19, and the government’s run-down of the healthcare system.

Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis: Assange is a “highly principled individual with enormous courage”

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 September 2020

“This war on journalism is an element of the rise in authoritarianism in countries that in the past championed press freedom, but can no longer claim to do so.”

Australia: Victorian government accelerates lifting of COVID-19 restrictions to satisfy big business

By Mike Head, 28 September 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has fallen further into line with the “return to work” campaign of the corporate elite and the federal government.

Australia’s Queensland Labor government suspends public hearings of Grosvenor Mine disaster inquiry

By Terry Cook, 28 September 2020

Like other government-initiated inquiries into industrial disasters, the inquiry was called to hose down widespread public outrage in the wake of the mine explosion.

Free Julian Assange! The political issues confronting educators in the fight for freedom of information

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 28 September 2020

“Teachers and educators are among those owing a debt to Assange and to the whistleblowers who courageously decided to leak classified information in the public interest.”

Australian government boosts bank profits as social misery deepens

By Mike Head, 26 September 2020

The lending law changes would see a return to the predatory policies that saw the impoverishment of thousands of households, small businesses and family farmers.

Former Australian PM Paul Keating lashes central bank

By Nick Beams, 26 September 2020

Keating’s overriding concern is the explosive social and political consequences of rising unemployment resulting from the deepening crisis of the capitalist economy.

Social health workers demonstrate in Tamil Nadu; Vietnamese garment workers strike over pay; Qantas baggage handlers protest against job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

26 September 2020

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

Australian government seeks to ban phones in immigration detention

By Martin Scott, 25 September 2020

The proposed new laws will allow warrantless searches and the use of sniffer dogs.

Australian health workers still being denied adequate PPE

By Clare Bruderlin, 25 September 2020

Nothing has been done to boost protection for health workers, meaning that further mass outbreaks of COVID-19 are all but inevitable.

Huge tax cuts for the wealthy trigger nervousness in Australian ruling elite

By Mike Head, 24 September 2020

The October 6 budget will give a dual-income household on $400,000 an annual tax cut of $23,280, while millions of people will have their JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments slashed.

Assange’s partner Stella Moris calls for Australian government to intervene in his defence

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 September 2020

“This is not something that the Australian government can just hide its head in the sand and say ‘nothing to do with us.’”

“NTEU Fightback” aims to replace the discredited Australian university union leadership

By Jack Turner, 22 September 2020

These supposed “socialists” are seeking to keep workers trapped within the industrial and political straitjacket of the trade unions.

Australian university staff and students confront job cuts avalanche

By Mike Head, 21 September 2020

The NTEU and other trade unions are doing everything they can to prevent a nationwide strike against the escalating assault on university jobs and basic conditions.

University of Melbourne student union enforces club affiliation requirement amid pandemic

By Eric Ludlow, 21 September 2020

The student union’s demands will serve only to disaffiliate clubs, compounding the destructive impact of the COVID-19 crisis on cultural and political life on campus.

Australian jobs figures show acceleration of “gig economy”

By Mike Head, 19 September 2020

Governments and employers are exploiting the mass unemployment triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic to bludgeon workers onto reduced wages and conditions.

Australia: Ovato printing company demands more cuts to jobs and conditions

By Noel Holt, 19 September 2020

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has “bent over backwards” to assist Ovato restructure its operations.

India: Chennai garbage workers strike; Sri Lankan bank workers protest over contracts; Australian waterfront workers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 September 2020

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

Australia: Mentally-ill man in coma after brutal Victorian police assault

By Martin Scott, 18 September 2020

The man was rammed by a police car before he was pepper-sprayed and kicked in the head.

Journalist Andrew Fowler: If Assange is extradited, the same can happen to any of us

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 September 2020

“The attempt by the State to control information is at the heart of the charges against Assange. Its physical manifestation is there every day in the court.”

Australian ruling elite moves to junk coronavirus safety measures—the working class must intervene to answer the pandemic threat!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 17 September 2020

Sections of the ruling class have concluded that any further safety restrictions can no longer be tolerated, regardless of the danger to working class lives.

Australian CEO pay hits record high, boosted by JobKeeper subsidies

By Jason Quill, 16 September 2020

Large companies have exploited government COVID-19 bailout schemes to increase executive rewards.

Attend SEP (Australia) online forum: The COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis of capitalism and the way forward for health workers

15 September 2020

The safety and well being of health workers must be taken out of the hands of governments and unions who have no interest in this task.