Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Australian trade unions hold pro-Labor “Change the Rules” rallies

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 April 2019

The union protests yesterday were called to promote the election of a yet another Labor government that will implement the demands of big business.

Australia: Tasmanian teachers take strike action

By Frank Gaglioti, 6 April 2019

Teachers in Tasmania are the lowest paid of any state in Australia.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 April 2019

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More layoffs point to worsening jobs crisis in Australia

By Terry Cook, 5 April 2019

Major companies across a range of sectors continue to shed jobs amid forecasts of a worsening global slowdown, particularly in China.

After death on Australian construction site, evidence emerges of widespread safety violations

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 April 2019

Unsafe scaffolding on building sites—which caused the death of a young apprentice on Monday—was the subject of more than 100 breach notices by the state regulator last year.

Christchurch terrorist’s fascist manifesto promotes trade unions

By Hayden Johns, 2 April 2019

The fascist gunman Brenton Tarrant, who killed 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand, advocates the anti-immigrant, nationalist policies of the trade unions.

After fascist attack, New Zealand teacher unions cancel nationwide strike

By John Braddock, 2 April 2019

In a thoroughly anti-democratic decision, primary and secondary teacher unions have used the Christchurch attack as a pretext to call off a major nationwide strike.

One worker killed, another critically injured after scaffolding collapse in Sydney

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 April 2019

The tragedy in Australia points to the subordination of workers’ safety to the profit demands of the construction companies and property developers.

Engineering department workers strike in India’s Jammu state; Sri Lankan nurses strike; Tasmanian teachers to strike for higher pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 March 2019

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Teacher: One Woman’s Struggle to Keep the Heart in Teaching

An interview with Australian author Gabbie Stroud

By Sue Phillips, 27 March 2019

“It’s almost as if our system doesn’t need a reformation, it needs a re-creation. It’s like we need to dismantle it and start again from the ground up.”

Australia: Striking Chemist Warehouse workers demand higher pay and job permanency

By Steve Streitberg, 25 March 2019

The conditions facing Chemist Warehouse workers are the direct result of cost-cutting agreements between the National Union of Workers and the highly profitable pharmacy retailer.

Midday meal workers protest in Telangana, India; Telstra technicians implement work bans across Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 March 2019

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Australia: DP World stevedoring workers set to take industrial action

By Terry Cook, 21 March 2019

Facing deepening competition, DP World is stepping up its drive to slash costs at the expense of its workforce.

Over 35,000 jute mill workers strike in Bangladesh; 200,000 Sri Lankan teachers and principals walk out for higher pay; Telstra technicians strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 March 2019

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Australian unions try to push through another sellout deal at BlueScope steel

By Martin Scott, 13 March 2019

Working hand-in-hand with BlueScope management, the Australian Workers Union claimed that the fate of the multi-billion dollar company depended on “sacrifices” being made by its employees.

Australia: Chemist Warehouse workers vote to take industrial action

By Terry Cook, 9 March 2019

The union’s concern is to maintain its position as a labour hire agency and an industrial police force.

Thousands of Sri Lankan teachers protest for higher pay; Pakistan sanitary workers strike over non-payment of wages; Telstra workers to strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 March 2019

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India: Pricol autoparts workers continue strike in Tamil Nadu; Chinese food delivery workers protest pay cuts; 3,000 New Zealand doctors hold two-day strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 March 2019

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Australian port workers threaten strikes against DP World’s cuts to wages and conditions

By Terry Cook, 26 February 2019

The Maritime Union of Australia is seeking to prevent a unified struggle by port and stevedoring workers facing similar attacks on their jobs, wages and conditions.

Indian telecommunication workers strike; Bangladesh teachers and education workers protest pay cuts; New Zealand anaesthetic technicians strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 February 2019

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Bangladesh steel workers demand wage rise; Australian coal haulage workers continue strike action; New Zealand bus drivers hold wildcat strikes

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 February 2019

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Steve McDowell, campaigner for Australian paramedic rights, speaks with WSWS

By Cheryl Crisp and John Mackay, 12 February 2019

“The thing is, if NSWA treated their staff the way their staff treat the public, there would be no issue.”—Steve McDowell

Over 200,000 Uttar Pradesh government employees strike; Bangladesh garment workers occupy factory; New Caledonia miners still on strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 February 2019

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Australia: Tigerair pilots locked in dispute over wages and conditions

By John Harris, 8 February 2019

Tigerair is seeking to set a new benchmark in the assault on the wages and conditions of pilots, a highly-skilled cohort of professionals with immense responsibilities.

Australia: Telstra workers vote on industrial action amid mass sackings

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 February 2019

The unions covering the telecommunications firm have made clear they will seek to enforce its 9,500 job cuts over the next four years.

Bangladesh garment workers demonstrate for unpaid wages; New Caledonia nickel miners’ strike enters second month

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 February 2019

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Two hundred thousand Indian midday meal workers still on strike; Tamil Nadu data entry workers protest: Tigerair pilots walkout in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 January 2019

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Australia: Port Kembla Coal Terminal locks out workers

By John Harris, 25 January 2019

The union created the conditions for the company attack and has isolated the workers since they were locked-out on Saturday morning.

Hyundai and Samsung workers protest in India; Cambodian garment workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 January 2019

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Australia: Hutchison Ports workers begin work bans in Sydney and Brisbane

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 January 2019

The unions that claim to oppose Hutchison’s latest attacks on wages and conditions have enforced decades of sackings in the stevedoring industry.

Australia: Casual coal miners begin week long strike in Wollongong

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 January 2019

Labor and the unions, which have spearheaded the destruction of full-time jobs, are cynically exploiting the stoppage to posture as opponents of growing casualisation.

Indian fireworks workers protest over layoffs, Pakistan water treatment workers walkout; New Caledonia nickel miners extend strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 January 2019

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Land record officers strike in Indian state of Punjab; Bangladesh garment workers strike continues; Australian ferry drivers walkout again in Brisbane.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 December 2018

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Workers in South Australian city devastated by GM plant closure support US autoworkers’ struggle

By Robert Campion and Mike Head, 21 December 2018

A WSWS reporting team found strong support in Elizabeth for Detroit autoworkers’ decision to fight plant closures.

Australian union leader warns of eruption of working class struggle

By Mike Head, 20 December 2018

ACTU secretary Sally McManus invoked the spectre of a tsunami of social unrest unless a Labor government bolstered the policing role of the trade unions.

Australian Amazon worker alleges unfair dismissal

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 December 2018

The Sydney worker has claimed he was sacked for joining a union and asking for more hours per week.

Teachers strike in South Australia and Tasmania

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 December 2018

The Australian Education Union is seeking to divide the struggles and push through sell-out enterprise agreements in both states.

Pakistan municipal workers protest for outstanding wages; Sri Lankan housing workers fight layoffs; New Zealand teachers reject new pay offer

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 December 2018

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New Zealand teachers’ struggle at a crossroads

By Tom Peters, 1 December 2018

Teachers are determined to fight, but the unions are attempting to suppress their struggle by promoting illusions in the Labour-led government.

India: Contract health workers remain on strike in Bihar; South Australian teachers strike over pay and conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 December 2018

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Ten thousand taxi drivers end protests in India; 1,600 rubber plantation workers strike in Bangladesh; New Zealand secondary teachers vote to strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 November 2018

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Indian chrome miners strike over safety; Western Australian mine workers walkout over “wage theft”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 November 2018

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Australian teacher unions’ phoney campaign against NAPLAN

By Erika Zimmer, 16 November 2018

The teacher unions have no principled opposition to the high-stakes testing agenda, while Australian teachers have opposed it from the start.

New Zealand rail union enforces another pro-company pay deal

By our correspondent, 10 November 2018

In 2016, the Labour Party-dominated Greater Wellington Regional Council privatised the region's commuter rail service, to save $NZ100 million over 15 years at the expense of jobs, wages and conditions.

Thousands of Indian contract workers remain on strike; 29,000 New Zealand primary school teachers to take national strike action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 November 2018

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Australian union officials use Newcastle rally to whitewash their betrayals

By Terry Cook, 6 November 2018

Speakers presented a series of sell-outs and regressive enterprise agreements as “victories.”

Australian workers at union rally oppose attacks on conditions, criticise Labor Party

By Terry Cook, 6 November 2018

Workers at the October 30 Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) “Change the Rules” rally in Newcastle spoke to Socialist Equality Party (SEP) members about the destruction of working conditions that both Liberal-National and Labor-led governments have enforced.

New Zealand: Bus union ends Wellington strike

By Tom Peters, 3 November 2018

The transport unions have sought to divide and demoralise workers and subordinate them to the Labour Party-led government.

Mass strikes by transport workers and government employees in India

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 November 2018

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Australia: Tasmanian public sector workers strike over wages and conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 October 2018

The stoppage reflected a growing militancy among workers, but the unions are desperately seeking to channel anger behind the Labor Party.

Australia: Over 150,000 workers protest against assault on wages and conditions

By our reporters, 24 October 2018

The unions called the rallies to divert widespread anger in the working class behind the election of state and federal Labor governments committed to the dictates of big business.

Australian workers at mass rallies speak on growing inequality, denounce Labor

By our reporters, 24 October 2018

“I know Fair Work laws were brought in by Labor. We elected them and then they kicked us in the teeth.”

The political issues posed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ “Change the Rules” campaign

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 22 October 2018

The very “Fair Work Australia” industrial legislation the unions claim to be fighting to change were imposed with their support.

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.