Workers Issues in Australia & the Pacific

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.