Australia

Australian pseudo-left groups try to rescue university union from outrage over sellout deal

By Carolyn Kennett and Mike Head, 14 May 2020

The NTEU’s deal with the employers exposes the desperate efforts of pseudo-left groups to prevent a revolt by university workers and students against the union.

Australian university union agrees to unprecedented pay and job cuts

By Mike Head, 13 May 2020

The agreement shatters the NTEU’s claim that it volunteered sacrifices of wages and conditions to “protect jobs” from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian Labor Party exploits pandemic to scapegoat foreign workers

By Max Newman, 12 May 2020

Labor’s call for immigration cuts lines up directly behind the drive by governments around the globe, personified by US President Trump, to promote toxic nationalism.

Australian intelligence sources alarmed by US “Wuhan lab” claim

By Mike Head, 11 May 2020

The primary fear in these ruling circles is that the assertions are so unreliable that they discredit the US confrontation with China, in which Australia is on the frontline.

Australian unions enforce continued mining production throughout pandemic

By Terry Cook, 11 May 2020

Local authorities in mining regions have warned that the continued operations of the sector threaten outbreaks of COVID-19.

Australian governments pushing workers back on the job amid pandemic

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 May 2020

Mass unemployment is being used as a battering ram to push financially devastated workers back into workplaces, regardless of their safety fears.

Australian mine explosion leaves five workers with horrific injuries

By Terry Cook, 9 May 2020

Four miners are fighting for life and another sustained serious injuries in a gas explosion at an Anglo American mine in central Queensland.

Australian governments pushing tracing app despite unanswered privacy-functionality questions

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 May 2020

The intrusive mobile phone application is being used to legitimise the dangerous back to work campaign of the ruling elite.

Australian rail union imposes sell out agreement after 51-49 percent split vote

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 May 2020

Many outraged rail workers have quit the RTBU in protest over the bureaucracy’s imposition of far reaching concessions on behalf of Metro Trains.

More than sixty COVID-19 cases linked to Australian abattoir outbreak

By Martin Scott, 7 May 2020

Workers were not tested until more than three weeks after the first confirmed case at the Melbourne facility.

Australia’s national cabinet pushes return to work despite ongoing COVID-19 dangers

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 May 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison bluntly admitted that the reversal of lockdown measures would lead to increased infections.

Australian governments reopen schools despite studies warning of COVID-19 danger

By Mike Head, 5 May 2020

The federal government’s attack on the Victorian state premier was aimed at suppressing opposition by teachers and parents.

Millions of Australian workers blocked from “JobKeeper” scheme

By Martin Scott, 5 May 2020

The wage subsidy is benefiting banks and big business, while resulting in cuts to workers’ pay and conditions.

The coronavirus pandemic and the fight for socialism in Australia

By Cheryl Crisp, 5 May 2020

The experience of the past months has presented the real face of capitalism—a system that constitutes the greatest threat to mankind.

West Australian principal stood down for warning of coronavirus dangers in schools

By Sue Phillips and Frank Gaglioti, 4 May 2020

The victimisation of Bronwyn White is a warning that the reopening of schools is being accompanied by the suppression of opposition.

Australia: Biloela residents continue fight to free Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 4 May 2020

Angela Fredericks, a campaign leader, spoke to the WSWS after a recent partial legal victory.

Australian government places country on frontline of anti-China witch hunt

By Mike Head, 2 May 2020

Australia unilaterally called for an international inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting the Trump administration’s unsubstantiated accusations against China.

Australian government fast-tracks review of lockdown measures

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 May 2020

New clusters have emerged, including among meat workers in Melbourne, as governments seek to prematurely end social-distancing measures.

Australian governments rushing to reverse lockdown measures

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 May 2020

Official modelling openly acknowledges that the policies being pursued by governments will result in a “higher number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths.”

Ruby Princess cruise ship forced out of Australian waters with coronavirus stricken staff on board

By Martin Scott, 30 April 2020

Around 500 workers are on the ship as it heads for the Philippines.

Family members protest amid six more deaths at Australian aged care home

By Mike Head, 30 April 2020

The outbreak underscores the danger of a new wave of COVID-19 infections as governments and business chiefs step up their drive for a premature return to work.

Australian health workers infected with COVID-19 but governments cover up full picture

By Margaret Rees, 29 April 2020

Even according to the officially-reported cases, Melbourne’s health system is one of the worst-affected in Australia.

Australian schools reopening as spearhead of “back to work” campaign

By Sue Phillips and Oscar Grenfell, 29 April 2020

State and federal governments are invoking dubious research to insist it is safe for teachers and students to return to schools.

Despite anticipating more deaths, Australian governments demand return to work

By Mike Head, 28 April 2020

The New South Wales state premier said she expected an increase in virus cases as her government lifted restrictions.

Australian government introduces spying app as part of back-to-work push

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 April 2020

There is no evidence that the application will do anything to trace or halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian university union continues sellout talks despite members’ anger

By our correspondents, 27 April 2020

SEP members develop discussion on a socialist perspective while the NTEU agrees to pay and conditions cuts and employers inflict massive job losses.

Australia’s national cabinet targets teachers to ramp up back-to-work drive

By Mike Head, 25 April 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison took direct aim at school teachers, falsely alleging they were not “going to work.”

Australia: Fifth resident dies at Sydney aged care home

By Martin Scott, 25 April 2020

Unable to visit, families fear their elderly relatives are suffering neglect.

Bangladeshi and Cambodian garment workers strike against COVID-19 job cuts; Pakistani medical workers demand safe working conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

25 April 2020

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

Thousands of jobs on the line after Virgin Australia goes into administration

By Terry Cook, 24 April 2020

The announcement by Virgin Australia, the country’s second largest domestic carrier, threatens at least 15,000 jobs.

Hostility to workers’ questions at online Australian union event

By Mike Head, 23 April 2020

In the ACTU “webinar,” no workers could speak, let alone oppose the unions’ role in assisting employers slash pay and conditions in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia Post announces major restructure threatening thousands of jobs

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 April 2020

The government and management are utilising the coronavirus pandemic to implement longstanding plans for mass sackings and privatisation.

Australian court ruling means continued imprisonment for Tamil refugees from Biloela

By Max Newman, 23 April 2020

The people of Biloela are continuing a national campaign, entitled “Home to Bilo,” demanding the release of the family and return home to Biloela.

Australia’s national cabinet continues back-to-work push

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 April 2020

State governments are moving ahead with an easing of restrictions, including through the reopening of schools, creating the conditions for major coronavirus outbreaks.

Real jobless rate could reach 30 percent in Australia

By Mike Head, 22 April 2020

Low-paid workers are twice as likely to be thrown out of work as high-income people in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Grattan Institute.

Australia: Workers call out unsafe conditions at Tasmanian hospitals

By Martin Scott, 21 April 2020

Two more patients have died as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in the northwest of the state.

Australian government joins Washington’s anti-China campaign over pandemic

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 April 2020

The Australian government, backed by the Labor opposition, is positioning itself as the Trump administration’s attack dog, repeating its unsubstantiated claims against China and the World Health Organisation.

Australian journalist still faces prosecution despite illegal police raid

By Mike Head, 21 April 2020

The High Court ruled the raid’s search warrant “invalid” but allowed the federal police to keep the seized material for use to lay criminal charges.

Australian governments refuse to assist international students amid pandemic

By John Harris, 20 April 2020

Thousands of international students are on the precipice of homelessness and abject poverty after state and federal governments refused to provide them with any assistance.

International students in Australia speak out: “Governments have done nothing to help us”

By our reporters, 20 April 2020

“Governments are providing billions and even trillions of dollars to the banks and corporations. Why nothing for us?”

Outrage among Australian university workers over secret NTEU pay cut talks

By Chris Gordon and Mike Head, 20 April 2020

Fearing a revolt by its members, the union national executive said the concessions it is offering employers must be kept for “confidential, limited sharing.”

SEP (US) Presidential candidate Joseph Kishore to participate in IYSSE (Australia) online meeting tonight

20 April 2020

Nick Beams and Socialist Equality Party (Australia) assistant national-secretary Cheryl Crisp will conduct a conversation with Kishore, the SEP candidate for president of the United States.

Australian ruling elite seizes on pandemic to demand harsh economic restructuring

By Mike Head, 18 April 2020

Governments and big business are using the COVID-19 crisis to accelerate the decades-long assault on social spending and workers’ jobs, wages and conditions.

Authorities seeking to force coronavirus-stricken ship out of Australian waters

By Martin Scott, 18 April 2020

More than 160 Ruby Princess crew members have tested positive for COVID-19, but most of the 1,056 workers are being refused the right to leave the ship.

Intensive CIA spying on Assange targeted his infant child

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 April 2020

As the US government finalised its bogus charges against Assange, it oversaw dirty tricks operations targeting his partner and their infant child.

Bangladesh garment workers strike against COVID-19 job and wage cuts; Australian maritime union ends strike over COVID-19 at Hutchison Ports

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 April 2020

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

Australian teachers speak out against unsafe conditions

By our reporters, 17 April 2020

One teacher said: “We are seeing that the allocation of resources is not to support social safety but to enrich a few super-wealthy oligarchs.”

Unemployment already at Great Depression levels in Australia

By Mike Head, 16 April 2020

A record 3.92 million workers, or 27.4 percent, were either unemployed or under-employed by the end of March.

COVID-19 and the role of Labor and the unions in Australia

By Mike Head, 16 April 2020

In fighting against mass unemployment, financial ruin and the danger to their very health and lives in many workplaces, the chief political obstacle confronting the working class is the Labor and union apparatus.

Australian police use COVID-19 emergency powers to ban refugee detention protest

By Max Newman, 16 April 2020

The police action, which state Premier Daniel Andrews’ Labor government must have authorised, constitutes a direct attack on the right to protest.

Australia: Two hospitals close in Tasmania after COVID-19 outbreak

By Martin Scott, 15 April 2020

Six patients have died and more than 40 health workers have tested positive.

Massive increase in toxic emissions at Australian coal power plant

By Martin Scott, 15 April 2020

The Vales Point power station was sold by the government to a multi-millionaire for just $1 million.

Australian government demands staged reopening of the school system

By Erika Zimmer, 14 April 2020

The Australian government is pressing for schools across the country to reopen, as part of a wider move to lift social distancing and other restrictions put in place for the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian construction workers denounce union enforcement of unsafe conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 April 2020

The union has responded to the outpouring of anger by mass deleting Facebook comments and declaring that work must continue, despite the dangers posed by the pandemic.

Australian university union in backroom talks to slash jobs and conditions amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Mike Head, 14 April 2020

NTEU members received an email from the union saying it is in discussions with the employers about measures “we would never normally consider.”

Australian hospitals lack ventilators and staff to deal with pandemic

By Clare Bruderlin, 11 April 2020

A ventilator manufacturing deal this week highlighted the shortage of urgently-needed intensive care medical equipment.

India: Punjab health workers and poor farmers protest over inadequate COVID-19 supplies; Queensland public health workers demand promised wage rise

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

11 April 2020

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

Australian government bails out private childcare industry

By Erika Zimmer and Amanda Johnstone, 10 April 2020

As with every other measure taken by the government, the sole concern is to get workers back on the job, regardless of the COVID-19 danger.

Australian governments prepare to push workers back into unsafe workplaces

By Mike Head, 10 April 2020

Discussions about “herd immunity” are taking place in ruling circles.

Labor and the unions help push corporate bailout through Australian parliament

By Mike Head, 9 April 2020

The main thrust of the bills is to allow employers to cut wages, working hours and other working conditions.

Decline in COVID-19 testing casts doubt on claims Australia is “flattening the curve”

By Martin Scott, 9 April 2020

The narrow focus of testing conceals the true scope of the pandemic.

At IYSSE (Australia) online lecture, Nick Beams exposes Socialist Alternative and the pseudo-left

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2020

The event was attended by an appreciative audience of more than 190 workers, students and young people.

Vindictive court rulings prove British state wants Assange dead

By Thomas Scripps, 8 April 2020

Judge Vanessa Baraitser has decreed that Assange will remain behind bars and that his extradition show-trial will proceed in May, even as the coronavirus pandemic spreads rapidly in British prisons.

Australian unions tell employers: “You can get everything you want”

By Mike Head, 7 April 2020

Sally McManus’s interview indicates how much the ruling elite is depending on the trade unions to quash unrest in the working class.

Australian government “pauses” hounding welfare recipients in face of massive jobless queues

By Margaret Rees, 6 April 2020

Fear of social unrest forced a temporary suspension of “accounts payable” letters alleging over-payment of benefits.

Australian Committee for Public Education holds successful online meeting on pandemic crisis

By our reporters, 6 April 2020

The Socialist Equality Party’s (US) candidate for vice president, Norissa Santa Cruz, brought greetings to the meeting which was attended by more than 70 people.

IYSSE (Australia) online lecture Tuesday night: Socialist Alternative and the politics of the pseudo-left

6 April 2020

Beams will explain that the struggle to build a socialist movement of the working class requires a fight against all those tendencies that seek to channel opposition behind the political establishment.

Australian airline exploits pandemic in an attempt to sink rivals

By Terry Cook, 4 April 2020

Qantas CEO: “This will be a survival of the fittest and Qantas is one of the fittest and most dynamic airlines in the world.”

Pandemic accelerates union-government-employer collaboration in Australia

By Mike Head, 4 April 2020

ACTU leader Sally McManus is being feted by the corporate media as a “star” of the deepening coronavirus crisis.

Attend the Committee for Public Education online meeting

The COVID-19 pandemic: The political issues confronting educators

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 4 April 2020

We invite readers in Australia and internationally—especially teachers, school staff, academics, kindergarten and childcare workers, parents and students—to take part in the online meeting.

Tea estate workers in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as medical workers in India and Papua New Guinea strike over COVID-19 dangers

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 April 2020

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

Australian governments threaten the safety and lives of thousands of cruise ship workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2020

Labor and Liberal-National governments are blocking thousands of workers at risk of contracting coronavirus from disembarking the vessels.

South Australian teacher speaks out against governments keeping schools open

By Sue Phillips, 3 April 2020

Amidst the mounting coronavirus danger, teachers are demanding the closure of schools.

Australia: Melbourne rail union promotes sellout industrial agreement

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 April 2020

The union bureaucracy cynically invoked the COVID-19 pandemic to justify the proposed deal.

COVID-19 infections hit Australian health workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 April 2020

Medical professionals across the country have made ongoing complaints that they lack sufficient quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks.

Unprecedented police and military powers implemented in Australian pandemic response

By Mike Head, 1 April 2020

Lockdown measures that have become necessary to try to contain the coronavirus are being enforced in the most heavy-handed manner.

COVID-19 pandemic leads to mass sackings in Australia

By Martin Scott, 1 April 2020

Unemployment is likely to rise above 15 percent as hundreds of thousands of workers lose their jobs.

Australian government resorts to “pandemic capitalism” as depression looms

By Mike Head, 31 March 2020

The $130 billion “wage subsidy” bonanza for employers is more than the annual federal government budget for health and education combined.

Australian warehouse workers strike over COVID-19 safety demands

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 March 2020

The strike lasted several hours, only ending after management promised to improve social distancing and sanitising.

Australian governments pour billions more into big business as pandemic spreads

By Mike Head, 30 March 2020

The stark discrepancy between the “economic” and “health” packages epitomises the response of Australia’s bipartisan “national cabinet.”

Australian governments reject calls for lockdown despite rising COVID-19 danger

By Mike Head, 28 March 2020

The “national cabinet” is determined to keep as many workers as possible on the job in order to shore up corporate profits.

Australian medical workers speak on the growing crisis in the health system

By our correspondents, 28 March 2020

Health workers are increasingly being forced to source their own supplies to ensure they and their colleagues have masks, goggles, gowns and gloves.

Strong response to Nick Beams’ IYSSE (Australia) online lecture on coronavirus pandemic

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 March 2020

The refusal of governments to take the necessary measures to address the pandemic, Beams stated, was inextricably tied to the systematic social attacks on the working class.

Pakistan: District government workers strike over unpaid wages; New Zealand plastics workers strike over COVID-19 concerns

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 March 2020

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

Australian school system in chaos after coronavirus semi-closures

By Patrick Kelly, 27 March 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s insistence that schools remain open as usual reflected economic, not health, considerations.

Australia’s imprisoned refugees plead for release as coronavirus risk increases

By Max Newman, 27 March 2020

Detainees have protested at being held “in a potential death trap in which we have no option or means to protect ourselves.”

Australian unions and employers demand workers stay on building sites despite pandemic

By Terry Cook, 27 March 2020

The unions are determined to utilise the coronavirus crisis to prove themselves indispensible to big business.

The wealth of Australia’s richest 250 soars to $377 billion

By Clare Bruderlin, 26 March 2020

According to the Murdoch media magazine, the number of billionaires has more than trebled in two years, from 33 to 117.

Australia unprepared for surge as coronavirus infections, fatalities mount

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 March 2020

Even before a dramatic spike in hospitalisations, there are shortages of protective masks and other essential equipment.

Latest Australian COVID-19 measures driven by concern about profits, not health

By Mike Head, 25 March 2020

Prime Minister Morrison channeled Donald Trump and insisted on keeping “the economy” going, regardless of the mounting danger to the health and lives of millions of people.

Great Depression-like mass jobless queues across Australia

By Mike Head, 24 March 2020

Showing the contempt of governments, lines of up to 200 metres snake around entire city and suburban blocks.

Australia: Coronavirus cancellations decimate live performance industry

By Martin Scott, 24 March 2020

Tens of thousands of performers are facing an indeterminate period without work.

“Life before profits—close the schools down!”

Australian teachers and school workers speak out on dangerous working conditions amid pandemic

By the Committee for Public Education, 23 March 2020

One teacher said: “We should not be expected to work in these unsafe conditions and students should not be expected to go to school either.”

Australian state of Victoria shuts down school system, other states remain open

By Patrick Kelly, 23 March 2020

The chaotic situation reflects the wider disarray and criminal neglect in the ruling elite’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

COVID-19 health disaster and political crisis intensify in Australia

By Mike Head, 23 March 2020

Yesterday the soaring rate of infections triggered an open rift in the self-styled “national cabinet” and forced governments into partial economic shutdowns.

“Four Corners” program exposes Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By John Harris, 23 March 2020

The actions revealed in the program, including the execution of unarmed civilians, have doubtless been known by successive governments, Labor and Coalition alike.

Australian governments refuse to close schools over COVID-19

By Erika Zimmer and Patrick Kelly, 21 March 2020

Schools are being kept open, at the expense of public health, in order to minimise disruption to corporate profit-making.

An interview with an Australian school teacher fearing coronavirus exposure

By our reporters, 21 March 2020

The teacher’s situation underscores the urgency of the Committee for Public Education’s demand for the immediate closure of schools and for teachers to form Action Committees.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 March 2020

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

Qantas spearheads mass layoffs in Australia as pandemic worsens

By Mike Head, 20 March 2020

The federal and state governments are handing billions of dollars to the banks and corporate elite as they unleash massive job losses.