Australia

Workers' Liberty Australia

A page for and about Workers' Liberty supporters in Australia. WL Australia news Workers Liberty newsletter No 72 (Late 2019) Contents: * Change the politics to socialism. For a climate action manifesto. * Workers and trade unions, why no strike for the climate? * Climate activism for workers’ control (from Climate change activism in the workplace) * Demands on employers (from Intertwining the threads), and Organising in schools for climate action * Extinction Rebellion Lismore * Cool air, hotter climate? Design against waste * Changing the Rules under a Coalition government * John Setka and...

Can the Green Bans be emulated?

Uncharted waters: social responsibility in Australian trade unions , by Greg Mallory (2005) investigated the NSW BLF Green Bans. Until recently Greg had been President of the Brisbane Labour History Association for 17 years. Workers Liberty has previously reported on his research into Green Bans: see here and here. Janet Burstall asked Greg some new questions, to help uncover issues for eco-socialist trade unionists to take into account, in promoting workers' control as a means for tackling climate change. JB: The NSW BLF Green Bans must be the most quoted example around the world of workers...

Northern NSW: invasion by the cashed-up

The Covid 19 pandemic has seen unprecedented relocation to regional north coast New South Wales. Better-off people have been leaving the capital cities, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. For some "professionals", working from home, or working primarily from home, has become a very desirable option, and more workable. In the destination areas, this has exacerbated an already overburdened housing and rental market for young people and working families. Demand has outstripped supply for both rentals and for house-purchase, though new housing is are being built at an increasing pace to try and keep...

Vale Rod Webb, 1943-2020

Without Rod Webb, there may not have been a consistent group of supporters of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty in Australia, advocating the ideas and principles of third-camp Trotskyism. It was because of Rod that I became a Trotskyist, and because of people he put me in touch with, even after he became less active himself, that I discovered the literature of the forerunners of the AWL, made contact with Martin Thomas, and helped to establish Socialist Fight, as a group of co-thinkers of the now AWL. This is part obituary, and part story of how Rod’s ideas and connections contributed to the...

Plutocrat philanthropy and workers' rights

Andrew Forrest is an Australian mining magnate and billionaire who set up a foundation with the seemingly benign purpose to “end modern slavery in our generation”. But as with Bill Gates and his philanthropic foundation, all is not what it seems. In spite of his lobbying for patents and intellectual property, Bill Gates has actually helped some people in the global south get vaccinated. Forrest’s advocacy does very little to alleviate the material conditions which make modern slavery, namely poverty. Within Australia, Forrest’s chief lobbying has been for controls and limits on welfare...

Vale Peter Simpson, 1963-2020

A tribute to Peter Simpson, lifelong activist with the Electrical Trades Union and Queensland state secretary 2009-2016

Bit by bit workers’ rights are being eroded

The Morrison government withdrew most of the remaining provisions of its industrial relations “Omnibus Bill” when cross-bench Senators’ amendments gutted the bill of its main intentions – to increase employer flexibility in offering hours of work, and to allow employer designed Enterprise Agreements to be imposed without union and worker approval, in certain contexts. The sop to get this through was to be a law against wage theft (i.e. employer failure to pay the full award or agreement rates), and a “pathway” for casual workers to become permanent, if their boss doesn’t circumvent. The bill...

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