Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

Australia: Hutchison pushes cuts to waterfront workers’ wages and conditions

By Terry Cook, 16 October 2018

The Maritime Union of Australia has cleared the way for the latest attacks by collaborating in the destruction of jobs, wages and conditions for decades.

Australian union prepares sellout after ending Alcoa strike

By Terry Cook, 9 October 2018

Alcoa’s “job security” promise, touted by the union to end an indefinite strike at the company’s Western Australian operations, is worthless.

New Zealand: Wellington bus drivers vote for indefinite strike

By our correspondent, 4 October 2018

Drivers threaten to walk out against attacks on wages, jobs and conditions.

New Zealand primary teachers reject sellout pay offer

By Tom Peters, 29 September 2018

The Labour Party-NZ First government’s offer of a meagre 3 percent per year for three years, with no measures to address the staffing crisis, was resoundingly rejected by primary school teachers.

Australian unions enforce low pay for pathology workers

By Terry Cook, 28 September 2018

The Fair Work Commission’s wage ruling for Dorevitch Pathology workers is far from the “big win” proclaimed by the Health Services Union.

New Zealand: Unite union applauds ban on migrant workers at Burger King

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 15 September 2018

In a reactionary, nationalist statement the union lauded a decision that will punish immigrant fast food workers by cutting off their employment.

Three thousand emergency workers strike in India; 29,000 primary school teachers vote on pay offer in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 September 2018

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Australian unions amass wealth as membership plummets

By Mike Head, 14 September 2018

The transformation of the unions into corporate operations cannot be explained by corruption and it is not unique to Australia.

Australia: Union calls one-day stoppage at University of Newcastle

By John Harris, 14 September 2018

The National Tertiary Education Union’s demands centre on maintaining the “consultative” and “committee” structures through which it has helped management impose restructuring and job cuts.

Australian construction worker dies after being struck by tub of concrete

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 September 2018

The incident, like other industrial deaths, points to the role of the unions in enforcing the dangerous conditions that prevail in the construction sector.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 September 2018

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Home loan stress threatening millions of households in Australia

By Mike Head, 7 September 2018

Nearly one in four households are already “mortgage prisoners”—trapped in debt while house values are falling.

Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) forum reviews lessons of nursing union sellout

By our reporter, 7 September 2018

Participants discussed the need for health workers to rebel against the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, build rank-and-file committees and unite with workers internationally, based on a socialist perspective.

Australian unions exploit childcare strike to promote Labor

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 September 2018

The Sydney protest was effectively an election rally for the Labor Party, which has spearheaded the privatisation of childcare.

Australia: Aurizon coal train crews face union sell-out

By Patrick Davies, 1 September 2018

The Rail Tram and Bus Union is working to conclude yet another regressive enterprise agreement covering coal haulage crews in the Hunter Valley.

Reserve Bank of India employees to walkout over pensions; Alcoa workers still on strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 September 2018

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Australian state Labor government intervenes to prevent industrial action by Esso workers

By Terry Cook, 28 August 2018

The Victorian government is seeking to push the long-running dispute at ExxonMobil’s offshore operations back into arbitration.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

28 August 2018

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New Zealand transport workers’ jobs and conditions under attack

By our correspondents, 25 August 2018

Rail and bus workers face a sustained assault by companies hired by the Greater Wellington Regional Council to run passenger services.

Bangladesh jute mill workers demonstrate; Paradip port workers strike in Orissa

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 August 2018

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Australian university union leaders quit amid escalating sellouts

By Mike Head, 22 August 2018

The NTEU is facing increasing disaffection as it assists managements to impose real wage reductions, greater casualisation and heavier workloads.

Lessons of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s sellout: Build rank-and-file committees! Unite the working class against the Labour government!

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 18 August 2018

The sellout of the nurses’ struggle by the union bureaucracy raises the need for rank-and-file committees and a fight to unite the working class against austerity and for socialism.

Alcoa workers strike in Western Australia

By Terry Cook, 18 August 2018

The stoppage expresses growing opposition to the corporate giant’s global cost-cutting operation.

Australia: Transport union cancels Victorian bus drivers strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 August 2018

The TWU’s suppression of the stoppage was the outcome of a sordid back-room conspiracy, involving the union, the companies and the Victorian state Labor government.

New Zealand primary teachers hold nationwide strike

By our reporters, 16 August 2018

Tens of thousands joined rallies across the country to demand better pay and conditions, while the teachers’ trade union used the strike to promote illusions in the Labour Party-led government.

Australia: Victorian bus drivers to strike over pay and conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 August 2018

The strike expresses mounting anger among transport workers across the country over the consequences of a privatisation agenda imposed by Labor and Liberal-National governments.

Over 400,000 West Bengal tea plantation workers strike; Alcoa workers walkout in Western Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

11 August 2018

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New Zealand Nurses Organisation rams through sellout pay deal

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 8 August 2018

The union is trying to present the agreement, which fails to address the crisis in the public health system, as a victory.

Australia: Telstra seeks to slash wages after announcing massive job cuts

By Terry Cook, 8 August 2018

The communications company is pushing a new enterprise agreement containing wage rises well below rapidly rising inflation.

GlaxoSmithKline workers in Bangladesh protest factory closure; Philippines police arrest picketing workers outside NutriAsia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 August 2018

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Australia: Nine-Fairfax Media merger threatens jobs

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 August 2018

The deal marks a new stage in a protracted restructuring of corporate media organisations, dictated by the financial elite.

New Zealand nurses express frustration, anger in union broadcast

By our reporters, 2 August 2018

The union’s online event was a desperate attempt to sell the latest, widely opposed deal and shut down the rebellion among nurses.

New Zealand Defence Force nurses deployed during strike

By John Braddock, 31 July 2018

The Labour government’s military deployment is a sharp warning to the resurgent working class as to what the ruling elite has in store.

Australian Labor Party plans another pro-business, higher education restructure

By Mike Head, 28 July 2018

A decade after its “education revolution,” Labor prepares an even deeper market-driven “review” of universities and technical colleges.

Esso Australia steps up offensive against offshore workers

By Terry Cook, 28 July 2018

The ExxonMobil subsidiary is tearing up jobs, wages and working conditions in its Bass Strait gas operations.

13,000 sanitation workers strike in Ahmedabad, India; Tamil Nadu rubber workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 July 2018

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New Zealand Nurses Organisation presents fifth sell-out pay offer

By John Braddock, 26 July 2018

The latest offer to public hospital nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives is virtually identical to offers they rejected before the July 12 nationwide strike.

After nationwide strike: The way forward for New Zealand health workers

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 25 July 2018

The SEG calls on health workers to break from the pro-capitalist trade unions and form rank-and-file committees to unite the working class against the Labour-led government’s austerity policies.

New Zealand bus drivers take action over work rosters

By our correspondents, 24 July 2018

Bus drivers are facing attacks on jobs, wages and conditions by private operators contracted by the Labour Party-led Wellington Council.

Australia’s peak union body lays out campaign to elect yet another big business Labor government

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 July 2018

The ACTU is seeking to corral their dwindling memberships behind Labor and shore up the unions’ position as an industrial police force.

Indian electricity workers on strike in Madhya Pradesh; Indonesian motorcycle taxi drivers threaten mass strike action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 July 2018

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Australia: Another fire at Melbourne recycling plant

By Eric Ludlow, 18 July 2018

Toxic blazes continue to erupt at Australian recycling plants as companies stockpile tonnes of dangerous waste material.

Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) holds online health workers’ meeting

By our reporters, 17 July 2018

The SEG’s forum, which included New Zealand and Australian workers, discussed the political lessons of the July 12 strike by 30,000 nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives.

Growing strike movement in New Zealand

By our reporters, 14 July 2018

The first cross-department public sector strike for over a decade, was held three days before the 24-hour nationwide nurses’ strike.

Thirty thousand coconut fibre workers strike in India; Chinese workers protest closure of Sanding housekeeping company

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 July 2018

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New Zealand nurses stage first nationwide strike in 30 years

By our reporters, 13 July 2018

Nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives in public hospitals struck for 24 hours yesterday after rejecting a sellout deal backed by the union.

Australia: Victorian bus drivers strike over wages and conditions

By our reporters, 13 July 2018

The Transport Workers Union has previously solicited donations from the bus company that it fraudulently claims to be leading a struggle against.

Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) to hold online forum: The way forward for nurses and health workers

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 11 July 2018

The online meeting will discuss a socialist strategy to fight for decent and well-funded public health services, in opposition to the Labour Party-led government and the nurses’ union.

New Zealand nurses reject union-backed sellout, prepare nationwide strike

By Tom Peters, 10 July 2018

Nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives in public hospitals are preparing for a nationwide strike on Thursday, after rejecting a sellout offer recommended by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation.

Australian unions’ bogus campaign over sacking of Longford maintenance workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 July 2018

The unions now claim to be leading a “struggle” in defence of the workers, having enforced the destruction of their jobs 12 months ago.

Paramedic’s suicide points to crisis in Australian ambulance services

By John Mackay and Cheryl Crisp, 9 July 2018

Tony Jenkins, 54, took his own life following a meeting with senior management in the New South Wales Ambulance Service.

Delhi Metro rail threatened with India’s essential services laws; New Zealand teachers vote in favour of strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 July 2018

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Australia: Prosecutors drop blackmail charges against construction union officials

By Terry Cook, 4 July 2018

The CFMMEU had worked to prevent the eruption of a struggle by construction workers against the laying of the criminal charges.

Thousands of West Bengal textile workers locked out; New Zealand nurses union cancels planned strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 June 2018

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Australia: Toys ‘R’ Us closure to destroy 700 jobs

By Terry Cook, 26 June 2018

The chain’s liquidation underscores the parasitic role of private equity firms in collapses throughout the retail sector.

Australia: Telstra announces another 9,500 job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 June 2018

The telecommunications company is seeking to impose one of the largest mass sackings in Australian corporate history.

Indian transport workers strike in Uttarakhand, 20,000 health workers continue indefinite walkout in Haryana state

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 June 2018

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New Zealand nurses reject third sellout deal, prepare to strike

By Tom Peters, 22 June 2018

The nurses’ union is desperately seeking to avoid two 24-hour strikes scheduled for next month.

Staff at Australia’s Macquarie University vote for unified fight against government cuts

By our correspondent, 20 June 2018

The vote indicates the emergence of highly significant opposition to the decades-long betrayals of the trade unions.

Union-management partnership at Australia’s Macquarie University will create “two-tier” workforce

By our correspondent, 18 June 2018

The NTEU is collaborating with management to introduce the “jobs families” plan that will force huge workloads onto 25 percent of teaching staff.

More than half of Australian workers in part-time insecure employment

By Terry Cook, 11 June 2018

Decades of job destruction have produced a “gig economy,” with many young workers unlikely to ever hold a full-time job.

Uttar Pradesh childcare workers demand teachers’ pay rates, Sri Lankan water supply workers strike for pay increase

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 June 2018

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Fear of working-class unrest triggers Australian minimum pay increase

By Mike Head, 6 June 2018

The industrial judges voiced concerns that record poor wages growth has generated dangerous discontent.

Australia: Private health giant Healthscope axes 400 jobs

By Margaret Rees, 5 June 2018

The company is shutting down two hospitals in order to help secure a more favourable takeover bid.

Indian garment workers demand higher pay, teachers demonstrate in China

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 June 2018

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Two workers killed at Australian paper mill

By Paul Bartizan, 31 May 2018

The cause of the gas exposure is still unclear.

Indian port workers to walk out, 30,000 municipal workers remain on strike in Haryana state

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 May 2018

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Joint email signals union-management partnership at Australia’s Macquarie University

By our correspondent, 24 May 2018

The NTEU is proceeding with the “strategic” measures in order to impose savage cost-cutting and restructuring

Indian bank workers threaten national strike, Auckland University students and staff protest in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 May 2018

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Australian government “review” prepares deeper public sector cuts

By Terry Cook, 18 May 2018

The review will be a mechanism to justify further privatisations, outsourcing and cuts to jobs and conditions.

Australian pseudo-left backs union campaign to elect a big business Labor government

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 May 2018

Socialist Alternative is attempting to cover up the fact that Labor and the unions have become the central political instruments of the corporate elite.

New Zealand nurses mount nationwide protests

By our reporters, 15 May 2018

Thousands marched in 15 towns and cities to demand better pay and conditions.

Delivery drivers strike in China, Korean Airline pilots and workers demand dismissal of company chairman

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 May 2018

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The way forward for New Zealand nurses: Break from the unions! Unite the working class against the Labour government!

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 10 May 2018

The fight by nurses and other health workers for decent wages and conditions must be consciously directed against the Labour Party government and the pro-capitalist trade unions.

Chinese construction workers and crane operators protest on May Day

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 May 2018

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Australian rail union tries to suppress continuing hostility to NSW train sellout

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 April 2018

The union is acutely aware that the pro-business restructuring mandated by the enterprise agreement will provoke struggles among rail workers.

Australian unions impose sweeping job and pay cuts via “interest-based bargaining”

By Mike Head, 24 April 2018

The IBB process is a new stage in the decades-long transformation of the unions into corporatist entities.

Unions shutdown three-week strike by Chinese technology workers

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 April 2018

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Australian unions launch campaign to re-elect an anti-working class Labor government

By Terry Cook and Oscar Grenfell, 19 April 2018

The trade unions are directly responsible for the social crisis that the “Change the Rules” campaign purports to oppose.

Australia: Discontent as union pushes collaboration with management at Macquarie University

By Mike Head, 17 April 2018

Younger academics and casual teachers, in particular, have voiced disbelief at the National Tertiary Education Union’s assurances.

Thousands of oil tanker drivers in Odisha, India to strike next week for higher pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 April 2018

The Odisha tanker drivers are employed by contractors for the state-owned oil corporations and are only paid about $US115 per month.

Australian tertiary education union imposes cuts to wages and conditions at Murdoch University

By Mike Head, 9 April 2018

Almost half the university’s staff abstained or refused to vote in the postal ballot to accept the NTEU-negotiated agreement.

More than 3,000 striking employees shut down Sri Lanka’s international airport

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 April 2018

The strikers seized control of all water and power supplies and blocked the entrance to Bandaranaike International Airport to demand higher wages and outstanding benefits.

Australian dock workers strike against threatened 60 percent wage cut

By our reporters, 6 April 2018

The Maritime Union of Australia is isolating the workers, while it seeks to strike a sellout deal with Qube Ports.

Hundreds of Korean shipyard workers strike against wage and job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 March 2018

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Australian train workers denounce NSW rail sellout

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 March 2018

Workers question the legitimacy of the postal ballot and condemn the sordid manoeuvres of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

Unions impose sellout deal on Australian rail workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 March 2018

The New South Wales rail unions could only secure a razor-thin margin through a months-long campaign to stifle and suppress opposition.

Around 1.5 million Uber and Ola drivers strike in India

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 March 2018

Striking Uber and Ola drivers said they are only making a fraction of what they were promised when they began working for the multi-million dollar tax companies.

Union prepares another sellout deal at Australia’s Macquarie University

By our correspondent, 20 March 2018

The secrecy imposed by the NTEU is a warning that Macquarie will be a test case for the union’s capacity to impose intensifying cuts and pro-business measures.

Australia’s industrial tribunal allows “super-union” merger

By Terry Cook, 19 March 2018

For decades, the three unions that amalgamated this month have imposed cuts to the jobs, wages and conditions of maritime, mining, textile and construction workers.

Forty thousand Indian railway workers march on parliament

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 March 2018

The workers were protesting against the introduction of a mandatory employee-contribution pension scheme.

Australia: Unions preside over anti-democratic ballot to sell out NSW rail workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 March 2018

The rail unions have done everything they can to suppress any industrial and political struggle by workers.

Vote “no” in the postal ballot!

Australia: Rail authorities, unions push sellout deal in NSW train dispute

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 March 2018

The agreement provides for continuous pro-business restructuring, job cuts and the elimination of working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 March 2018

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Australian rail union pushes through sellout agreement at Pacific National

By Patrick Davies, 5 March 2018

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has imposed another deal that slashes conditions and provides for the ever-greater use of casual labour by the freight operator.

Australian rail union prepares sellout in NSW train dispute

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 March 2018

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union confirmed yesterday that workers will be balloted on an enterprise agreement that will intensify the assault on jobs and conditions.

Australian and New Zealand transport workers must unite their struggles

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 28 February 2018

The trade unions in both New Zealand and Australia are seeking to isolate workers in each country from each other in order to facilitate further attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

Australia: Locked-out Glencore coal mine workers face new provocations

By Terry Cook, 26 February 2018

As the union isolates the Oaky North workers, the Fair Work Ombudsman is investigating a protest picket near the Queensland mine.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 February 2018

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Australia: Union enforces another massive pay cut at Griffin Coal

By Terry Cook, 20 February 2018

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union isolated a protracted strike of maintenance workers before striking a sell-out enterprise agreement.