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Unions rally around the country for rights on site

Construction unions and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have rallied around the country today as Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU) member Ark Tribe returned to court in Adelaide. Ark is facing trial under the unfair Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) laws for not telling the ABCC what was discussed at a workplace meeting about safety issues on a construction site in Adelaide.

The Perth rally was attended by an estimated 4000 people. Members rallied in support of Ark as well as over recent workplace deaths in the maritime and construction industries. A dock worker was killed in a workplace accident in Melbourne last Wednesday and a construction worker died in a workplace accident in Adelaide on Friday. The rally was addressed by the partner of a worker who was killed in a workplace accident and all speakers reinforced the message that no-one should be risking their life by going to work. Every worker has a right to a safe workplace and every family has the right to expect their loved ones home safely at the end of a work day.

Unions want urgent action after the tragic death of yet another dock worker

Work at 15 wharves around Australia has ground to a halt after the death of the third worker in five months.

Staff at all P&O automotive and general stevedoring sites have walked out for 24 hours. A 41-year-old Melbourne worker was crushed to death during pick-up and delivery operations at Appleton Dock this morning.

Paddy Crumlin from the Maritime Union of Australia says it is time for conditions to change.

UnionsWA welcomes mining tax resolution

UnionsWA believes the new Minerals Resource Rent Tax will help provide the building blocks for a fairer Australia and give ordinary Australians a greater share of the profits generated by the exploitation of the country’s non-renewable resources.

The peak union body in WA argues the $10.5 billion windfall will provide vital infrastructure across the country and particularly in WA mining communities which to date have been largely overlooked in terms of development despite the huge profits generated by nearby resource projects.

JOINT STATEMENT: Ordinary West Australians must be heard in mining tax debate
Organisations representing the WA social and community sector, unions and environmental groups have called for the voices of ordinary West Australians to be heard in a tax debate that has been dominated by the well funded interests of the mining sector.
These groups support reform of mining tax as a key recommendation from the Henry Tax Review that will modernise the tax system and allow it to meet the future challenges of the state’s ageing population, climate change and social infrastructure in a fair and equitable way. Representing a broad cross section of society, social and community groups argue that mining company self interest is unfairly dominating the debate regarding tax reform.
Community groups and WA workers come together in a stunt to highlight alternate views on the mining tax
Unions welcome the passing of the Paid Parental Leave scheme

Unions and workers in WA and across the country have today welcomed the passing of the Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme into legislation.

The 18 week government-funded scheme will help ease the financial and emotional pressures many parents face during the crucial first months after the birth of a child. The scheme also brings Australia closer in line with the rest of the world in regard to paid parental leave.

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk applauded the decision whilst acknowledging that it was long overdue. “This decision is fantastic news for working Australians. For far too long, many Australian families have really struggled financially during those first crucial months after the birth of a child so we welcome this assistance.”

“Unions and working Australians started this campaign over 30 years ago and we still require stronger legislation in this area but we are certainly celebrating this win today."

Thousands rally for equal pay day of action
The Australian Service Union (ASU) has held a very successful national day of action with thousands of people coming together around Australia to call for better pay for people working in the community sector. The vast majority of workers in the sector are women. Across Australian women earn on average 18% less than men but in WA that gap is even wider with women earning an average 27% less than men.
Rallies took place in 17 locations across the country, including an event at Parliament House in Perth, as part of the national day of action for equal pay. It is the biggest Australia-wide rally since the 1970s to fight for equal pay for women.
In Perth, ASU members gathered on the steps of Parliament House and presented two giant sized petitions calling for 'Equal Pay for Equal Work'. The rally was attended by a number of ALP and Greens Members of Parliament and candidates as well as by representatives from a variety of WA unions.

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Photos: ASU members in Perth, the giant petitions on the steps of Perth's Parliament House, the Communications, Electrical & Plumbing Union supporting the event with UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk.

Unions respond to the mining company scare campaign

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union responds to the mining company scare campaign with style... 

Downloadable information on the RSPT:

Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union pamphlet:   miners_super_profit_tax_flyer.pdf

Australian Workers Union flyer:   awu_mining_tax_flyer.pdf

A Q&A on the RSPT from The Australia Institute  making_sense_of_the_resource_super_profits_tax.doc  

UnionsWA's Simone McGurk on the Pay Up! campaign

Dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st century, I have been convinced to start twittering, inflicting my thought bubbles onto the world.

One consolation for the world is that they have to elect to receive my thought bubbles.

It did seem to me that there could be people who might like to hear a different take on things.   For instance I thought it might be useful to shine some light on what is happening for ordinary people working in different jobs throughout the state.

We often seem obsessed by the big money flowing up North but fail to appreciate the stories for those who don’t fit the “BOOM TOWN” mould.

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