What is The Union Show?

7 12 2010

The Union Show broadcast on community TV C31 in Melbourne Australia from 2005 to 2009 and is a rich source of information on unions and issues affecting unions in this country. Whilst the program is no longer produced for television, the producers, United Productions maintain both a Union Show blog and the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel as a means of disseminating union information that would otherwise be lost in time and in the morass of anti-union misinformation that is distributed by mainstream media.

An extensive archive of Union Show episodes is available for viewing at http://theunionshow.blip.tv. Current union information can be sourced at www.theunionshow.com.au and at the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel. There are many other web sources for union information that deal mainly in the written word. One of those sites and perhaps the venerable example is www.labourstart.org.au where you will find links to many other like-minded information outlets.


Rigger’s industrial laws fight back in court

14 09 2010

By Candice Marcus

Updated Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:33pm AEST

Ark Tribe

Rigger Ark Tribe arrives for another court appearance (ABC News: Patrick Rocca)

A lawyer for a construction worker charged under federal industrial laws has told Adelaide Magistrates Court the prosecution case is seriously flawed.

Rigger Ark Tribe is accused of failing to attend at the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to answer questions about a stopwork meeting which was held over safety concerns at an Adelaide building site.

It is the first such case prosecuted.

Tribe’s lawyer Michael Abbott QC told the court that only the commissioner was empowered to form a suspicion that a worker had contravened the laws.

“It always has to be the ABC Commissioner investigating unless he delegates that function, which he never did,” he told the hearing.

“The function of the ABC Commissioner must be performed by him, and him alone, unless he delegates it and he would still have to publish a copy of the instructions of delegation under the legislation.

“The inspectors acted illegally and unlawfully.”

Mr Abbott said much could be read into the fact that Commissioner John Lloyd was not called to give evidence for the prosecution case, when it should have been his investigation.

“We say the silence of the ABC Commissioner is telling,” he said.

Hundreds of union members again rallied outside the hearing to support Tribe.

The magistrate will give a verdict in November and unionists have vowed to take nationwide action if Tribe is jailed.

Trade Union Summer School

3 09 2010

From the Eureka Stockade to the defeat of Work Choices, the union movement in Australia has been our most important force for social progress and democracy, and our most important line of defence against exploitation, discrimination and privilege.

When organised labour has been strong, and confident in its own project, it has been able to defend and extend the rights of working people.

Just as importantly, it has reinforced other struggles for a better world – for a liveable environment, for the rights of women and oppressed minorities, and for peace and solidarity amongst peoples.

This has all taken place under left leaderships within unions.

Now as we enter the second decade of the 21st century, the union movement confronts greater challenges than ever. It must face increasingly mobile and powerful corporations while shackled by anti-union and anti-worker laws, tackle the enormous challenge of global warming, and engage with governments determined to reduce it to irrelevance.

Winning Our Rights is a public forum for active unionists and workers that is focused on these enormous challenges. IT is an invaluable opportunity to learn from past struggles and develop practical proposals to strengthen left and progressive collaboration within our labour movement at a crucial time.

Fair Work for Whom?

26 08 2010

Big Business Yes – Workers – No

Be careful what you wish for. Amidst the horse trading in the Senate over the Fair Work Bill one crucial fact has been lost. Despite their passionate commitment to rip up Work Choices, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have done the very opposite.

“The ALP were elected on the back of working people and the Your Rights at Work campaign. Now they are in Parliament, they have blatantly disregarded their promises to Aussie workers,” says the Bill’s greatest critic.

A video on the www.fairwork.org.au website shows the PM passionately condemning the same laws she has retained in the Fair Work Bill. The video highlights the hypocrisy of the legislature and the unfairness of the Fair Work Bill, demonstrating an about face by the ALP on industrial legislation that can only exist alongside the once removed practice of executive government. It

This video begs the question of whether our leaders are capable of bargaining in good faith with either the Australian people or a handful of independent MPs.

Collective bargaining – it’s good for all of us

17 08 2010

How do nurses achieve better nurse-patient ratios to lift the standard of patient care? How do workers in dangerous industries win tougher safety standards? How do teachers win smaller class sizes to boost students’ ability to learn?
The answer is collective bargaining, and these benefits go hand in hand with better pay, better conditions and the ability to have your say at work — in all industries.

UK National Shop Stewards Network conference 2010

15 08 2010
TheSocialistParty | July 03, 2010

#1 of #10 videos – The fourth national conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN), backed by four major trade unions, initiated to build solidarity and support among rank and file trade union activists four years ago, met on 26 June 2010, just days after chancellor George Osborne’s ‘bloodbath budget’, to make plans to oppose the worst threatened cuts in 80 years.

Starring UK Firies’ Secretary Matt Wrack.

ITF congress closes with march through Mexico City

15 08 2010

The ITF’s forty-second congress – its biggest ever and first in Latin America – will close today with a march through Mexico City in support of Mexican workers’ rights. Delegates are leaving the conference centre and proceeding to the Zócalo square via Avenida Madero.

Some 1376 participants from 368 trade unions in 112 countries attended the event, which began on 5 August and which determines the policies of the ITF – a global union federation with 760 affiliated trade unions with 4.69 million members in 154 countries – for the next four years.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: “There’s never been a bigger or more successful ITF congress. These last two weeks have been filled with opportunities to come together, learn from each other, and forge new paths for the future.”

He continued: “It would be impossible to list all the highlights of this congress. There have been too many of them, from our first ever youth conference, to the highly successful climate change conference and the election of a new President for the organisation. Paddy Crumlin, General Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia. But something I must mention is the way that our being here has helped us to stand alongside our Mexican colleagues, and join them in their defence of union rights, in their fight for decent conditions and, in the case of Mexicana Airlines, for their very jobs.”

He concluded: “As this congress comes to its end, we have committed ourselves anew to campaigning for fairer and safer work at sea, on land and in the air.”

Paddy Crumlin commented: : “I’m excited to be able to take on this new role and play my part in moving the work of the ITF, its hundreds of affiliated unions and their millions of members forward through the implementation of a comprehensive organising programme focused on trade union regeneration and revitalisation.”