Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

Australia: Thousands attend climate change rally in Sydney

By Martin Scott, 13 December 2019

While bushfires ravaged the state, workers and students gathered to protest government inaction on climate change.

Australia: Governments, unions responsible for spate of deaths in Queensland mining industry

By Robert Campion, 12 December 2019

The dangerous conditions are a result of the gutting of safety measures and the wholesale destruction of full-time employment throughout the sector.

Australia: Workers stop work in response to hazardous air conditions

By James Cogan, 11 December 2019

Air quality in Sydney yesterday registered over 11 times the official “hazardous level” due to smoke blowing in from bushfires in surrounding areas.

Worker killed in horrendous incident on Sydney construction site

By Terry Cook, 10 December 2019

The latest tragic death brings the number of fatalities in the sector for 2019 to 22.

Australian economy remains in slump as trade tensions mount

By Mike Head, 10 December 2019

Corporate profits and share prices have soared in 2019, but at the expense of falling real wages and rising unemployment.

Australia: Vote ‘no’ to the NSWTF salaries agreement! Form rank-and-file committees to defend public education

By the Committee For Public Education, 4 December 2019

The NSW Teachers Federation is seeking to split and isolate teachers as they meet at hundreds of different venues across the state to hear details of the latest award.

Indian auto parts workers demand union rights; Bangladesh cargo workers on indefinite strike; French Polynesia hotel workers expand walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

30 November 2019

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

Workers underpaid by $1.35 billion a year

Low wage rises in Australia “become the new normal”

By Nick Beams, 29 November 2019

A survey conducted by the accounting and financial firm PwC has found that 13 percent of the Australian workforce is being underpaid.

Australian establishment’s anti-China campaign goes into overdrive

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 November 2019

There is little doubt that the anti-China barrage in Australia is the result of consultations with, and substantial pressure from, the US military and intelligence establishment.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the South Pacific

23 November 2019

Workers in the Punjab rallied and blocked traffic after a 15-year-old labourer was brutally beaten to death at a plywood factory.

Australian bushfire crisis continues as political fallout intensifies

By Mike Head, 18 November 2019

Prime Minister Morrison and Labor Party leader Albanese have both tried to call a halt to any discussion of the crucial issues raised by the fires.

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.

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.”

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: 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.

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.

Thousands of doctors strike in Tamil Nadu, India

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 November 2019

While 16,000 Tamil Nadu doctors walked-out to demand salary increases and promotions, thousands of the state’s railway workers struck against privatisation measures.

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.

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.

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.

India: Thousands of Telangana transport workers strike; Darjeeling tea estate workers demand higher pay; New Zealand medical laboratory workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

12 October 2019

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

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.

Thousands of Assam tea workers strike over bonus payments; 17,000 non-academic university workers remain on strike in Sri Lanka

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

5 October 2019

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

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.

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.

Half a million Indian coal workers strike; New South Wales coal miners fight for higher pay; Fenner Dunlop strike continues in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

28 September 2019

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

GM workers in South Korea strike over wages; Pakistan higher education teachers walkout; Psychologists continue industrial action in New Zealand

21 September 2019

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

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.”

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.

Jammu & Kashmir power workers demand outstanding salaries; Pakistan tourism workers oppose job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

14 September 2019

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

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.

New Zealand police destroyed Pike River mine disaster evidence

By Tom Peters, 13 September 2019

The latest revelations are further evidence of a cover-up designed to protect Pike River Coal’s management from prosecution for the 2010 disaster that killed 29 people.

Hong Kong protesters: Turn to the Chinese working class, not US imperialism

By Peter Symonds, 9 September 2019

Any turn to the United States plays directly into the hands of Beijing, which seeks to malign the Hong Kong protests as the work of radical agitators and the “black hand” of Washington.

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.

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.

Australia: Train workers’ union calls off Melbourne strike

By David Cohen, 23 August 2019

Confronted by yet another sell-out, workers need to take their fight out of the hands of the RTBU bureaucracy, forming rank and file committees.

Australian health workers protest assaults on staff

By John Wilson, 17 August 2019

The Health Services Union limited the action and channelled workers’ anger into a demand for more security officers, not for increased funding and staffing.

Indian chemical workers oppose privatisation; Bangladesh garment workers protest for unpaid wages; Australian rail and tram workers to take industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 August 2019

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

Establishment figures welcome renewed anti-China hysteria in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 August 2019

The ruling elite requires Australia’s incorporation into US war preparations to be accompanied by slandering any public opposition as the product of “Chinese interference.”

Bangladesh municipal workers still on strike; Indian telecommunication workers demand salaries; New Zealand vehicle testing workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 August 2019

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

Australian High Court scraps free speech for workers

By Mike Head, 9 August 2019

The judges’ support for the sacking of a public servant is part of an assault on free speech under conditions of escalating social, geo-strategic and war tensions.

Australia: Melbourne rail workers vote for strike action

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 August 2019

While privatisation has provided new and lucrative profit opportunities for corporate operators, it has proven a disaster for rail workers and commuters.

Australian households’ cost of living soars above consumer price index

By Margaret Rees, 3 August 2019

A large gap has emerged between the official statistics and the standard of living, thanks to skyrocketing prices for essential goods and services, as opposed to prices for discretionary items.

Indian doctors hold national 24-hour walkout; Chinese auto workers strike; Australian railway workers vote for industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 August 2019

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

Australian Labor Party leader: We will keep voting for government’s legislation

By Mike Head, 1 August 2019

Albanese’s declaration was another blunt signal of Labor’s further sharp shift to the right in the wake of its historic debacle at the May 18 federal election.

Early peak in Australia influenza season causes concern

By John Mackay, 31 July 2019

The severity of deadly flu outbreaks could be minimised with global free access to vaccination, and the development of a universal vaccine.

Australia: Six Queensland mining deaths in 12 months

By Patrick Davies, 30 July 2019

The tragedies are a result of the gutting of full-time jobs and the erosion of working conditions, enforced by the trade unions.

DP World threatens to sack 10 percent of its Australian workforce during industrial action

By Noel Holt, 29 July 2019

The move marks a new offensive by employers to further slash jobs, basic rights and conditions on the waterfront and throughout the working class as a whole.

Indian doctors and health workers strike for higher pay; Sri Lankan postal workers hold nationwide walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 July 2019

Hundreds of doctors refused to work for two hours in outpatient services at government health services and hospitals in the city of Trichy on July 18.

Australian disability centre closures result in nearly a dozen deaths

By Max Newman, 26 July 2019

Former residents of a disability centre in Newcastle have died after being transferred to under-funded group homes via the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australian cancer victim sues Bayer-Monsanto

By Frank Gaglioti, 23 July 2019

Michael Ogalirolo claims his potentially lethal cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is due to 18 years of exposure to glyphosate, the active component of the herbicide Roundup.

Thousands of Korean workers strike against government labour policies; Sri Lanka teachers walk out for better pay; Bangladesh municipal workers resume strikes

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

20 July 2019

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

Gulf between wealthy and poor widening in Australia

By Mike Head, 19 July 2019

Successive governments, both Liberal-National and Labor, have enriched the corporate elite at the expense of the working class.

Indian aeronautic workers threaten national walkout; Pakistan power workers demand safe, permanent jobs; Taiwan union ends flight attendants’ strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 July 2019

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

Australia: DP World stevedoring strike against attacks on conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 July 2019

While the stoppage expresses growing militancy among dock workers, the union is seeking to contain any struggle and enforce a sell-out agreement.

Australian retail giant to cut jobs, wages

By Eric Ludlow, 9 July 2019

Woolworths, one of Australia’s two major supermarket chains, last month announced a restructure that endangers thousands of jobs across the country.

Punjab Roadways workers strike for three days; thousands of Bangladesh municipal workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 July 2019

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

South Australian teachers strike for better wages and conditions

By Sue Phillips, 4 July 2019

South Australia teachers have joined their counterparts in New Zealand, other Australian states and around the world, to strike against their current, unsustainable wages and conditions.

New Zealand secondary teachers’ union pushes through sellout

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 3 July 2019

The deal pushed through by the Post-Primary Teachers’ Association, following a similar sellout by the primary teachers’ union, will only see the crisis in schools worsen.

Australian media chiefs seek to divert anger over police raids

By Mike Head, 2 July 2019

There was no mention of the violent arrest of Julian Assange, which opened the floodgates for a broader assault on free speech.

Assam tea workers on strike; 3,000 Sri Lankan railway workers walk out again; Tasmanian and South Australian teachers fight for better pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 June 2019

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

National strike by Indian doctors; Taiwanese flight attendants launch indefinite strike; Sydney Harbour ferry crews walk out again

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 June 2019

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

Australian Labor Party leader determined to expel building union official

By Mike Head, 21 June 2019

Corporate outlets have declared that John Setka’s removal is the first “test” of Anthony Albanese’s leadership in turning Labor further to the right.

Australia: NSW government unveils thousands of public sector job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 June 2019

The state budget includes 3,000 retrenchments, a deepening offensive against social services and massive handouts to big business.

Vote no to union sellout of New Zealand teachers! Mobilise the working class against the Ardern Labour government!

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 18 June 2019

Following last month’s historic strike, the primary and secondary teacher unions are seeking to impose a sellout deal and shut down the teachers’ struggle.

Two protesters arrested at Melbourne rally in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 June 2019

The arrests were aimed at intimidating supporters of WikiLeaks and preventing broader layers from joining the campaign to defend Assange and all democratic rights.

Australia: Another Sydney apartment block evacuated over major structural cracks

By John Wilson, 17 June 2019

The event underlines the escalating crisis in housing and apartment building and the cost-cutting methods used during the past two decades.

Indian health workers demand fixed salaries; Bangladesh fishermen demonstrate; NZ disability care workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 June 2019

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

Australian Labor Party leader reinforces pro-business message by denouncing building union official

By Mike Head, 14 June 2019

The John Setka affair is an initial “test” set by the corporate elite for the Labor and union leaders of their capacity to suppress rising working-class unrest.

Australia’s industrial tribunal maintains poverty-level minimum wage

By Terry Cook, 13 June 2019

The ruling is part of a decades-long assault on workers’ pay and conditions enforced by successive governments and the trade unions.

Australia: Telstra to destroy 10,000 contract jobs over two years

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 June 2019

The announcement of new sackings targeting contractors coincided with reports that Telstra has already eliminated many of the 9,500 permanent jobs it is seeking to destroy by 2022.

Thousands of Bangladesh bidi cigarette workers demonstrate; Taiwanese flight attendants protest harsh conditions; New Zealand hospital workers strike at Waikato

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 June 2019

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

New Zealand secondary teachers’ union cancels industrial action

By Tom Peters, 7 June 2019

There is growing anger over the Labour Party-led government’s refusal to adequately fund education, and the unions’ efforts to isolate teachers.

The global assault on jobs

By Jerry White, 5 June 2019

Job cuts by the Australian telecommunications company Telstra are part of a wave of international layoffs that urgently point to the need for a globally coordinated response by the working class.

Thousands of childcare workers demonstrate in Karnataka; South Korean shipyard workers protest downsizing; NZ secondary teachers maintain industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 June 2019

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

New Zealand teachers’ strike: Break from Labour and the unions! Unite the working class against austerity!

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 28 May 2019

The nationwide strike by 52,000 primary and secondary teachers points to the intensifying struggle against the Labour Party-led government’s austerity measures.

Australian Labor Party’s new leader signals further pro-business shift

By Mike Head, 28 May 2019

Albanese has vowed to boost “wealth creation” and pursue bipartisanship with the extreme right-wing Liberal-National government.

Chowel India auto-parts workers arrested; Chinese teachers protest over pay; Fast food workers strike in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 May 2019

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

Australian voters speak out

Workers and youth condemn major parliamentary parties

By our reporters, 24 May 2019

“I’d like someone in charge who thinks of the 98 percent, rather than the 2 percent of the highest earners in the country.”

Australia: Tasmanian paramedic protests ambulance ramping

By Margaret Rees, 22 May 2019

The high incidence of ramping is product of the wider crisis of the hospital system which has been chronically underfunded by Labor and Liberal governments alike.

Hundreds of Indian workers strike over unpaid wages; Bangladesh jute mill workers continue protests; Auckland rail workers locked out in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 May 2019

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

Labor’s promise on childcare wages—another cynical deception

By Terry Cook, 17 May 2019

Labor leader Bill Shorten’s pledge is designed to prevent a rank-and-file struggle for a genuine improvement in wages and working conditions.

Factory fire symptomatic of social devastation in Calwell electorate

By Peter Byrne: SEP candidate for Calwell, 14 May 2019

“Where factories once employed workers who actually made things, they are now rented and filled with toxic waste, then abandoned.”

Australian Labor Party’s fraudulent cancer care pledge

By Gary Alvernia, 13 May 2019

Even if implemented in full, the plan would not significantly reduce the exorbitant costs of cancer therapy and care.

Thousands of powerloom workers strike in Tamil Nadu; Migrant workers strike and protest in Taiwan; New Zealand teachers voting on national walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

11 May 2019

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

Fiji authorities suppress May Day protests, arrest locked-out workers

By John Braddock, 10 May 2019

The sacking and persecution of the FWA workers and ban on the protests again underlines the dictatorial nature of the Fijian regime, which rests directly on the military.

Workers march and protest across Asia on May Day

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 May 2019

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

Workers should reject Australian unions’ “Change the rules” campaign

By Oscar Grenfell: SEP candidate for Parramatta, 30 April 2019

The unions are seeking to channel mounting anger in the working class behind the election of yet another big business Labor government.

Indian rail workers protest; Bangladeshi food workers demand pay rise; New Zealand doctors to strike for five days

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 April 2019

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

Australian construction workers facing massive fines for striking

By Terry Cook, 26 April 2019

The Australian Building and Construction Commission has launched legal action against workers involved in a short work-stoppage last year.

Jet Airways employees demonstrate in India; Pakistan doctors protest privatisation; Queensland bulk haulage train and maintenance workers to strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

20 April 2019

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

New Zealand bus worker dies of stroke after corporate restructure

By our correspondent, 17 April 2019

Wellington bus controller Dmitri Edwards died following a “day from hell,” during which he had to make 85 changes to rosters and schedules.

Australia: Kimberly-Clark to shut Ingleburn plant and axe over 200 jobs.

By Terry Cook, 15 April 2019

The closure of the south-west Sydney plant is part of a global restructuring plan that will see 10 facilities shut down internationally and the elimination of over 5,000 jobs.

Police attack teachers in Kolkata; thousands of Bangladesh jute mill workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 April 2019

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