Australia

Indian Honda contract workers still on strike; West Bengal teachers demand pay rise; maintenance workers take industrial action at Australian paper mill

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

16 November 2019

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

Mass protests after police shoot and kill Aboriginal teenager in remote Australian town

By Eric Ludlow, 15 November 2019

The police killing of Kumanjayi Walker in the poverty-stricken Northern Territory community of Yuendumu has led to widespread protests across Australia.

Petition calling for Julian Assange’s freedom tabled in Australian parliament

By James Cogan, 15 November 2019

The number of people who have signed the petition is a measure of the broader support and sympathy for Assange.

Australia: Bushfires continue to ravage New South Wales and Queensland

By Martin Scott, 14 November 2019

Four people are dead and more than 300 homes have been lost in catastrophic fires.

Australian aged care report: “A shocking tale of neglect”

By Cheryl Crisp, 13 November 2019

The inquiry’s “urgent” recommendations do nothing to address the underlying reasons for these appalling conditions.

Australian workers and youth speak-out in support of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 November 2019

“Governments are trying to hide the truth and lie to the people. That’s why they are unfairly persecuting Assange and confining him to prison.”

Australian bushfire emergency worsens but government denounces climate change warnings

By Mike Head, 12 November 2019

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack caused outrage by attacking “raving inner city lunatics” for linking global warming to the bushfires.

Australian Labor Party review covers up causes of federal election debacle

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 November 2019

The real reason for Labor’s defeat is that it is incapable of making a credible appeal to workers and young people, after decades of having imposed the dictates of big business.

Australia: All Sydney bus services to be privatised within two years

By Martin Scott, 9 November 2019

Thousands of drivers and other workers face an uncertain future as the state government continues the sell-off of public transport.

Honda motorcycle and Kerala state transport workers strike in India; Pakistan health workers oppose privatisation

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 November 2019

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

Australia: Woolworths admits to massively underpaying staff

By Terry Cook, 8 November 2019

In one of the most glaring examples of the widespread practice of wage theft, Australia’s largest supermarket chain has admitted to underpaying thousands of staff by $300 million over the past decade.

Australia: Mobilise students, staff and academics against the closure of Macquarie University’s human sciences faculty

By the Committee for Public Education, 7 November 2019

The National Tertiary Education Union’s major concern is not the job cuts themselves, but that they were left out of the “consultation process” required to implement them.

Australia: One third of Mascot Tower owners face bankruptcy over $20 million repair bill

By John Wilson, 7 November 2019

Australian state and local governments, along with the construction industry, are seeking to shirk all responsibility for a plethora of problems in apartments built over the past 25 years.

Australian Greens member demands party leader defend Julian Assange

7 November 2019

“Assange is being held as a political prisoner. That is undeniable now, and still no action from the Greens... Ultimately, you have abandoned Assange.”

Geoffrey Rush defamation victory contested in Sydney’s Federal Court

By Linda Tenenbaum, 7 November 2019

The appeal by Murdoch-owned Nationwide News against last year’s Federal Court judgement in favour of Oscar-winning Australian actor, Geoffrey Rush, was heard early this week.

Former Australian PM asked to register under “foreign agent” laws

By Mike Head, 6 November 2019

The initial targeting of alt-right elements sets a precedent for the use of the laws against their intended victims—left-wing and oppositional groups.

Australia: Bullied teachers reveal union complicity in victimisations—Part 2

By Sue Phillips and Erika Zimmer, 5 November 2019

The WSWS and Committee for Public Education discuss the crisis in Australia’s public schools, with the founders of Bullied Teachers Support Network.

Bipartisan drive to outlaw protest in Australia

By Mike Head, 5 November 2019

Prime Minister Morrison adopted the fascistic language of US President Donald Trump, accusing climate change demonstrators of “economic sabotage.”

Julian Assange calls for workers to organise in his defence

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 November 2019

Assange’s appeal for workers to form “blocs” in their workplaces is an important call for the mobilisation of the working class to fight for his freedom.

Australia: Bullied teachers reveal union complicity in victimisations—Part 1

By Sue Phillips and Erika Zimmer, 4 November 2019

The WSWS and Committee for Public Education discuss the crisis in Australia’s public schools, with the founders of the Bullied Teachers Support Network.

Australia: Official unemployment figures downplay growing jobs crisis

By Terry Cook, 2 November 2019

The mass destruction of full-time jobs and a rapid growth in casualisation across every sector has been overseen by Liberal and Labor governments alike.

Australia: Further cuts to jobs and working conditions loom in NSW power industry

By Patrick Davies, 1 November 2019

The energy minister issued a “pause directive” to the state-owned corporation in an attempt to quell opposition to the job cuts and to enlist the unions in imposing cost cutting.

Australian Labor Party leader puts big business “first and foremost”

By Mike Head, 1 November 2019

Albanese vowed to ensure that businesses “thrive and flourish,” including by restructuring the industrial relations system to enhance the “gig economy.”

Australian police violently attack climate change protestors

By our reporters, 31 October 2019

The incident marks a further escalation of state repression in Australia against protest and dissent.

Video: 70 years after the Chinese Revolution—How the struggle for socialism was betrayed

31 October 2019

The following lecture was delivered by Peter Symonds at eight campuses in Australia and at meeting in Wellington, New Zealand.

Australian and New Zealand students speak after lecture on 70th anniversary of Chinese Revolution

By our reporters, 31 October 2019

“The real root ideas of socialism were not implemented in China from the bottom-up. I learnt that Trotskyism is internationalism, but Mao did not agree with that perspective.”

Australian state Labor government spearheads anti-protest laws

By Mike Head, 30 October 2019

Queensland’s government has defied popular opposition to rush through legislation that goes far beyond suppressing environmental demonstrations.

Australian parliamentarians form cross-party group in defence of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 October 2019

The establishment of the group is in response to a growing groundswell of demands for the Australian government to stop Assange’s extradition to the US.

Workers and students from Chile speak out at protest in Sydney, Australia

By our reporters, 29 October 2019

Reflecting the sentiments of many, Carlos, a musician, said the “battle between the rich and poor has always been a huge feature of Chilean struggle.”

Retiring Australian ambassador to US points to war danger in Trump trade policies

By Nick Beams, 29 October 2019

In a major speech last week, Joe Hockey delivered what has been described as a “blistering attack” on the trade and tariff policies of US President Trump.

Public meetings in Australia and New Zealand

Stop the US extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange! Free Assange and Manning!

28 October 2019

The aim of the meetings is to prepare for the political action that must be organised in Australia and internationally in opposition to the legal travesty against Assange that is underway in the British courts.

More evidence of cover-up of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 26 October 2019

The damning disclosures underscore why the government is intensifying its efforts to suppress media freedom.

400,000 bank workers strike across India

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 October 2019

While almost half a million Indian bank employees walked off the job, tens of thousands of teachers and healthcare workers across the sub-continent have engaged in strikes and protests.

Major write down of Australian growth forecast as global contradictions intensify

By Nick Beams, 23 October 2019

In just 12 months, the International Monetary Fund has cut its Australian growth prediction for 2019 from 2.8 percent to 1.7 percent.

Australian media companies protest government attacks on press freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2019

Threats to prosecute journalists underscore the need for media workers to defend Julian Assange, whose jailing has opened the floodgates for the assault on press freedom.

Australia: Inspections reveal dangerous conditions on NSW construction sites

By Terry Cook, 21 October 2019

The NSW government's promises are aimed at placating public outrage over conditions in the construction sector, the third most dangerous by workplace fatalities.

Growing calls for Australian government to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2019

The fear in Australian ruling circles is that if Assange is extradited to the US, the latent support for him will coalesce into a political movement against the official set-up.

Tens of thousands of Indian transport and aircraft manufacturing workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

19 October 2019

Some 49,000 transport workers in the state of Telangana walked-out in defiance of government threats to their jobs, while more than 20,000 employees of a state-owned defence company took strike action.

UN official’s briefing on torture of Assange boycotted by US media

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 October 2019

The media silence is a continuation of its complicity in what UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer has described as the “public mobbing” of Assange.

Australia: “Four Corners” program promotes anti-China witch-hunt

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 October 2019

The program underscores the role of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a mouthpiece for the political establishment and the intelligence agencies.

Government has no solution to Australia’s water crisis

By Martin Scott, 16 October 2019

Hundreds of thousands in the state of New South Wales face running out of water before the end of next year

Australian governments trial police-state measures against climate protesters

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 October 2019

The authorities are using the demonstrations as a test case for future repression of the emerging social and political struggles of the working class.

Prominent Australian parliamentarian declares extradition of Julian Assange to US “totally unreasonable”

By James Cogan, 14 October 2019

Barnaby Joyce admitted this morning that the attempt to extradite Assange is a flagrant attack on his rights as an Australian citizen.

Six months since the brutal arrest of WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 October 2019

While Assange is subjected to what amounts to torture in a British prison, the war criminals he has done so much to expose walk free.

Official cover-up continues of Australian paramedic’s suicide

By Cheryl Crisp, 12 October 2019

Undisclosed disciplinary action against senior managers over the death of Tony Jenkins is at odds with a NSW Ambulance report that identified systemic deficiencies.

Australian government ministers call for protesters to be cut off welfare

By Mike Head, 11 October 2019

While the remarks referred to “Extinction Rebellion” demonstrators who temporarily blocked some traffic in major cities, they have a wider anti-democratic logic.

Australian cyber conference “disinvites” US whistleblower and Assange supporter

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 October 2019

The cancellation of talks by NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake and Melbourne academic Suelette Dreyfus was a political decision, most likely involving government agencies.

Australian PM aligns with Trump administration against “globalism” and China

By James Cogan, 8 October 2019

Morrison reviewed the sweeping steps that have already been taken to assist the United States wage “strategic competition” against China.

Australian Labor Party courts big business

By Mike Head, 7 October 2019

Labor leaders are “blitzing” corporate boardrooms to win their backing in the wake of Labor’s election debacle.

Australia: Important response to first IYSSE lectures on the 1949 Chinese Revolution

By our reporters, 7 October 2019

The final lectures will be held at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) later today, and at Western Sydney University on October 9, the University of New South Wales on October 16, and Macquarie University on October 17.

Australia: Another “super union” merger—a bigger industrial policeman

By Terry Cook, 4 October 2019

Claims that the merger of United Voice and the National Union of Workers will serve the interests of workers are belied by the betrayals and sell-outs of both organisations.

Australian central bank cuts interest rates to record low

By Mike Head, 3 October 2019

The speed and scale of the rate cuts point to alarm within the financial elite about the turmoil gripping the world capitalist economy and deepening slump in Australia.

Australia: Melbourne tram drivers take further strike action

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2019

The tram drivers have twice overwhelmingly voted down company offers for a regressive new enterprise agreement.

New industrial “integrity” laws seek to head off working class eruption in Australia

By Terry Cook, 1 October 2019

The Morrison government’s legislation is a pre-emptive move by the corporate establishment which is nervous about rising strike action by workers internationally despite the efforts of the unions to hold them back.

Underpayment and wage theft rampant in Australia

By Karen Maxwell and Richard Phillips, 27 September 2019

The “underpayment of wages” businesses model is expanding across a range of sectors.

Australian troops accused of war crimes in Afghanistan

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 September 2019

Anonymous soldiers interviewed by “60 Minutes” alleged that Ben Roberts-Smith, who is widely presented as a “war hero,” kicked a handcuffed Afghan civilian off a cliff in 2012.

Australian government seeks arbitrary powers to revoke citizenship

By Mike Head, 25 September 2019

The Citizenship Cessation Bill is another indication of the repressive measures that the ruling class is preparing to deal with rising working-class discontent.

Government minister, journalists challenged on Australian TV over persecution of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 September 2019

A WikiLeaks supporter denounced the “media blackout about Julian Assange” and declared that journalists could no longer deny that he was being held as a “political prisoner.”

Australia: Northern Territory worker killed in preventable open-cut mine disaster

By Jason Wardle, 24 September 2019

Dangerous working conditions and lax safety regulations in the Northern Territory has led to workplace fatalities being three times higher than the Australian national average.

Echoing Trump administration, Australian leader advocates end to China’s “developing country” status

By James Cogan, 24 September 2019

Morrison signalled that Australia will join with the US in its escalating campaign to economically cripple China.

Australian prime minister endorses US trade war and militarism

By James Cogan, 23 September 2019

Morrison conducted himself as the head of a middle-order power that has functioned since World War II as the willing enabler of the predatory policies of its great power ally.

Australian students and youth speak out at climate strikes

By our reporters, 23 September 2019

“The governments are too scared to do anything because they want to make profits, rather than save the planet.”

Australian government “balances” budget at expense of disabled

By Mike Head, 23 September 2019

The Morrison government “saved” $4.6 billion by underfunding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and cutting a total of $6.4 billion from social programs.

Lectures in Australia and New Zealand on the 1949 Chinese Revolution

23 September 2019

In this video, Peter Symonds, SEP national WSWS editor, explains the relevance of his upcoming lecture “70 years after the Chinese Revolution: How the struggle for socialism was betrayed” to contemporary events. Details of dates and venues in Australia and New Zealand are available here.

Millions march against climate change, capitalism and war

By Bryan Dyne and Will Morrow, 21 September 2019

“Any talk about climate change must include socialism and the economic system.”

Climate strike protesters speak out: “There’s willful blindness on this issue, because fixing it conflicts with capitalism”

By our reporters, 21 September 2019

WSWS reporters spoke with climate strike protesters in cities around the globe.

Bushfires in Australia: Another symptom of climate change

By Frank Gaglioti, 21 September 2019

Early spring fires are an “omen” of an unprecedented and disastrous season ahead due to hot, windy and dry conditions.

Older people keep working due to economic necessity in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 21 September 2019

The development of technology should mean working lives are shortened, but under the capitalist profit system people are forced to work longer.

Confrontation with China focus of Australian prime minister’s state visit to Washington

By James Cogan, 20 September 2019

US-Australia relations are predicated on and aggressively seek to protect and extend immense corporate interests.

Australian workers and youth back striking US autoworkers

By our reporters, 19 September 2019

“I think there’s a common stream connecting workers all over the world. This is something we are all fighting for.”

Claims of Chinese “hacking” add to US pressure on Australian government

By Mike Head, 18 September 2019

Unnamed sources accused the Morrison government of covering up China’s role for fear of disrupting lucrative trade relations with Beijing.

Accidental drug overdose deaths continue to rise in Australia

By Clare Bruderlin, 18 September 2019

As in the US, the pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of social misery to addict the population on deadly drugs.

Student union at Australian university attempts to bar Chinese students from elections

By Eric Ludlow, 17 September 2019

The student union at Monash University’s Caulfield campus in Melbourne was forced, after a public outcry, to repeal the decision preventing international students from running in the elections.

Bupa’s aged care homes failing official standards across Australia

By Jenny Campbell, 17 September 2019

The record illustrates the extent to which corporations have been permitted to prioritise profits over care.

Australian government pushes drug testing for welfare recipients

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 September 2019

The trial, which is aimed at extending “welfare quarantining” measures, would target working class areas hit by job destruction and government budget cuts.

Abortion bill in NSW used to push Australian politics further to the right

By Cheryl Crisp, 16 September 2019

The emotive demagogy over abortion is part of a campaign to mobilise a right-wing Christian base and recruit them into the Liberal Party.

Australian election survey refutes myths surrounding Labor Party debacle

By Mike Head, 13 September 2019

Swings by working-class voters against Labor reflected the shift in its campaign, away from its fake “fair go” promises, to reassuring big business.

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood visits Assange: “He’s a freedom fighter!”

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 September 2019

Westwood stated that Assange is “an innocent man” who has been “persecuted for nine years for telling the truth.”

Australian establishment demands removal of alleged “pro-China” member of parliament

By James Cogan, 12 September 2019

Gladys Liu has views that are at odds with the propaganda being promoted in Australia to justify the alliance with US imperialism and war preparations against China.

Australian incarceration rate rising despite drop in crime

By Martin Scott, 12 September 2019

Indigenous Australians are now more likely to be imprisoned than African Americans.

Virgin Australia axes 750 jobs

By Terry Cook, 11 September 2019

The immediate consequence of the restructure is the destruction of 750 jobs, or around 7 percent of the carrier’s workforce, to achieve savings of $75 million a year.

Household incomes dropping in Australia as economy slides toward recession

By Mike Head, 10 September 2019

Working class living standards are continuing a seven-year fall, setting the scene for class conflict.

Another police-state raid in Australia to protect spy agencies

By Mike Head, 7 September 2019

The Morrison government is stepping-up an offensive on democratic rights at the Trump administration’s behest.

Peter Greste’s panel discussion in Sydney: Support for censorship and throwing Assange to the wolves

By James Cogan, 7 September 2019

Greste advocates the anti-democratic conception that a “responsible journalist” censors information that is deemed too controversial for the population to know.

Australia: Whistleblower trials proceed despite outcry

By Mike Head, 3 September 2019

The Morrison government rejects calls to drop the prosecution of people who exposed the criminal activities of the country’s US-linked spy agencies and armed forces.

Australian worker killed in fall on Sydney construction site

By Terry Cook, 3 September 2019

Mohamad Riche, who died in an avoidable accident on August 21, was the sixth construction worker in Australia to lose his life on worksites this year.

Roger Waters holds concert on Monday

Take forward the fight to free Julian Assange!

By Joseph Kishore, 2 September 2019

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are the victims of a monstrous criminal conspiracy, involving the most powerful governments in the world, the intelligence agencies and the corporate media.

Australian government moves to deport Tamil refugees despite mass opposition

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 September 2019

The family has been transferred to Christmas Island, where they have been placed in substandard accommodation and given expired food.

Factional wars and scandals wrack Australian Labor Party following election debacle

By Mike Head, 31 August 2019

Decades of betrayals of the working class have come home to roost, triggering internal warfare.

IYSSE holds meetings in defence of Assange at Australian universities

By our reporters, 31 August 2019

One student commented: “What is happening is an injustice to him and his rights and freedom of speech. Young people should join together and fight for what is true and what is honest.”

Motherson autoworkers strike in India; Madhya Pradesh railway workers oppose privatisation; Melbourne tram workers walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

31 August 2019

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

Australian government seeks to deport Tamil refugee family to Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2019

The outpouring of support for the family reflects the broad opposition of working people to the bipartisan assault on asylum-seekers.

Australia: NSW Greens pass motion “defending” Assange, but MPs remain silent

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2019

The mealy-mouthed statement, which does not call for Assange’s freedom or condemn the US charges against him, has been met with silence by Greens MPs.

Australia acts to retain sway over former colony Papua New Guinea

By James Cogan, 29 August 2019

PNG is on the frontline of the great power competition with China.

Clinical psychologist Lissa Johnson: They are trying to break Assange “physically and psychologically”

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 August 2019

”Of all the passive bystanders to Julian Assange’s abuse, the Australian government is by far the most culpable and complicit.”

Australian Labor Party accuses government of “losing control” of borders

By Mike Head, 28 August 2019

Shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally condemned the government for allowing asylum seekers to arrive by plane.

Australian PM calls for new internet censorship measures at G7

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 August 2019

Morrison is campaigning for an international crackdown on social media, while his government asserts the right to ban websites and domains domestically.

Anti-China witch-hunt targets Australian universities

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 August 2019

The government and the security agencies convened a meeting with universities, threatening research involving Chinese academics.

Australian state Labor government’s lies about “protest violence” exposed

By Mike Head, 24 August 2019

Labor’s fabricated “booby trap” claims illustrate how governments concoct fear campaigns to attack basic democratic rights.

Australia joins US naval operation against Iran, foreshadows involvement in South China Sea

By James Cogan, 23 August 2019

Sixteen years after the Iraq war, US imperialism has plans for even more catastrophic crimes—against both Iran and China.