Australia and South Pacific

True History of the Kelly Gang: Little resemblance to the real story

By Jason Quill and Richard Phillips, 13 June 2020

Justin Kurzel’s film is the 16th about the late 19th century Australian bushranger and anti-establishment outlaw.

India: Telangana coal mine workers strike against privatisation; Queensland hospital workers walkout over pay freeze

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

13 June 2020

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

Australian PM calls for mass arrests at protests against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 June 2020

Echoing Donald Trump, Scott Morrison declared that demonstrations had been “hijacked by left-wing radicals” who were pursuing “their own political agendas.”

Police shoot dead mentally ill man in Melbourne, Australia

By Karen Maxwell, 11 June 2020

The man’s death marks another incident where police have killed someone suffering a mental health crisis.

Pandemic intensifies growing mental health crisis in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 11 June 2020

The government’s promised spending displays the official contempt for those being devastated by mass unemployment and under-employment.

SEP (Australia) June 16 online lecture

The founding of the Fourth International

11 June 2020

The lecture will outline the immense contemporary relevance of Leon Trotsky’s establishment of the world party of socialist revolution in 1938.

Australian government ending COVID-19 childcare scheme

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 June 2020

The abrupt announcement is part of a broader roll-back of limited relief measures introduced in response to the pandemic.

Defying government threats, thousands join Australian protests against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 June 2020

Over 100,000 people demonstrated across the country, despite threats of large fines and an attempted ban of the Sydney rally.

Australian protesters speak out: “The class systems need to be abolished”

By our reporters, 8 June 2020

The demonstrations were “a great show of people power and it’s a great show of how the world should move forward.”

India and Australia sign military pact amid tense border conflict with China

By Mike Head, 8 June 2020

The Modi-Morrison “summit” occurred just two days after US President Trump reiterated his support for India’s confrontation with China.

New Zealand government introduces internet censorship legislation

By Tom Peters, 8 June 2020

The Labour Party-led government’s legislation would empower the Chief Censor “to make swift time-limited interim classification assessments of any publication.”

Australian governments try to block demonstrations against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 June 2020

The bans and police threats are outright attacks on the right to protest, a basic democratic right, aimed at establishing a precedent for suppressing mounting social and political opposition.

Australian government hands more cash to big business as recession deepens

By Mike Head, 6 June 2020

The slump began before the main COVID-19 pandemic restrictions commenced, and has led to the greatest loss of livelihoods since the 1930s Great Depression.

More Australian war crimes exposed in Afghanistan

By Jason Quill, 6 June 2020

The exposure of Ziauddin’s killing highlights the years of coverups by successive Australian governments, both Liberal-National and Labor, of military abuses in the Middle East.

India-wide protests by military armament and power industry workers; Australian airport workers demand JobKeeper pay

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

6 June 2020

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

Australia: NSW government pushes public sector wage freeze

By Martin Scott, 5 June 2020

The government is now asking the Industrial Relations Commission to deny nurses, teachers, paramedics, and other essential workers a promised 2.5 percent wage increase.

Hundreds of jobs axed as News Corp Australia shuts regional and suburban newspapers

By Richard Phillips, 5 June 2020

The Murdoch-owned company, like other media conglomerates, has seized on the COVID-19 crisis to drastically restructure operations and drive up profits.

NTEU helps Australian universities escalate job and wage cuts

By Mike Head, 5 June 2020

University managements are exploiting the union’s stifling of university workers’ outrage and opposition.

Nissan confirms job cuts as strike against Spanish plant closures continues

By Alejandro López, 5 June 2020

Thousands of Nissan workers, their families and sympathisers are striking, protesting and blocking roads to protest the automaker’s decision to shut down its Barcelona plant.

Anger over US police assault on Australian journalists in Washington DC

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 June 2020

Had the attack occurred in a country such as China or Iran, the muted response from the Australian political establishment would undoubtedly have been very different.

Australian inquest says “grossly deficient” safety caused death of Anglo American mine worker

By Terry Cook, 4 June 2020

The coronial inquest into the Grasstree Mine workers’ death in 2014 is a damning indictment of Anglo American safety standards.

Australian schools affected by new coronavirus clusters

By Patrick Kelly, 3 June 2020

The cases have exposed state and federal government claims, both Labor and Liberal, that teachers, staff and children are safe to return to school.

Australia’s richest “Top 20” soar further in wealth during pandemic

By Mike Head, 2 June 2020

The results illustrate the immense concentration of wealth since governments bailed out the financial elite after the 2008–09 economic breakdown.

Australian bushfire inquiry examines the terrible impact of smoke inhalation

By John Mackay, 2 June 2020

The number of deaths caused by smoke was more than ten times the number killed directly by the bushfires.

Administrative hearing in Julian Assange’s extradition case to be held today

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 June 2020

The hearings have had a farcical character, with Assange unable to participate due to coronavirus dangers and the press frequently excluded.

Australian university union pushes through pay-cutting deal at Western Sydney

By our correspondent, 1 June 2020

The NTEU prevented genuine discussion, refused to circulate opposing resolutions and backed management threats.

Australia’s “national cabinet” declared permanent

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 May 2020

The purpose of the new body is to suppress widespread social and political opposition, and create the conditions for a further pro-business restructuring of the economy.

Pandemic intensifies social crisis in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2020

More than a third of the population is in financial difficulty, as the Ardern Labour Party-led coalition government presides over tens of thousands of job cuts.

Indian autoworkers strike for COVID-19 safety measures; Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers demonstrate

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

30 May 2020

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

Financial press hails Australian government’s union-employer offensive against workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 May 2020

The unions have committed to a sweeping pro-business overhaul of workplace conditions and industrial relations on the pretext of the pandemic.

Australian university union’s national deal collapses in face of widespread opposition

By Mike Head, 28 May 2020

Despite its debacle, the NTEU will intensify its collaboration with university managements to try and impose deep cuts to jobs, wages and conditions.

Oppose the rush to reopen Australian schools! Form safety action committees of teachers and staff!

By the Committee for Public Education (CFPE), 28 May 2020

At stake is not just the immediate public safety concerns in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but the future of the education system.

Australian PM launches union-employer offensive against workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 May 2020

The unions have signalled their readiness to enforce a corporate drive to exploit the pandemic to mount a major assault on jobs, wages and conditions.

US threatens to “disconnect” Australia if it strays from conflict with China

By Mike Head, 26 May 2020

Pompeo’s bullying intervention is part of an intensifying campaign by Washington to confront China economically and militarily.

Online meeting reveals union complicity in attacks on Australia Post workers

By Jim Franklin, 26 May 2020

Union officials prevented workers from speaking or moving motions, in a warning that they are preparing to enforce the management’s sweeping pro-business restructure.

Australian governments rush to end lockdowns in line with business demands

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 May 2020

Thousands of students and teachers are returning to schools, crowded public transport services are operating and millions of workers are being herded back onto the job.

Australian government’s JobKeeper fraud starts to unravel

By Mike Head, 25 May 2020

From the start, the government’s claims of “saving six million jobs” were always patent lies.

New Zealand opposition leadership change points to political instability

By Tom Peters, 25 May 2020

The two-year tenure of departing National Party leader Simon Bridges was marked by sharp, inner-party divisions over New Zealand’s relations with China.

Australian governments fully reopen schools despite intense opposition

By Erika Zimmer, 23 May 2020

The danger of sending up to a million children back full-time in New South Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic is compounded by the public transport crisis.

New Zealand unions enforce school returns, mass layoffs and wage cuts

By John Braddock, 23 May 2020

Unions are helping to implement deep inroads into jobs, wages and conditions and to ensure the reopening of businesses and schools regardless of safety risks from COVID-19.

Indian police detain thousands of sacked migrant workers; Pakistani health workers demand unpaid wages and allowances

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 May 2020

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

New Zealand government stokes tensions with China

By Tom Peters, 22 May 2020

New Zealand, a de facto American ally and member of the US-led Five Eyes intelligence network, is integrated into the anti-China build-up.

Australian unions back pay cuts for fast food workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 May 2020

The attack on some of the lowest-paid workers, on the pretext of the coronavirus pandemic, is a precedent for a broader pro-business restructuring.

Australian government falsely claims credit for global COVID-19 inquiry

By Mike Head, 21 May 2020

Australia’s push was obviously part of a US drive to demonise China and the World Health Organisation.

Australia: Twelve fast food outlets closed in Melbourne after coronavirus outbreak

By Martin Scott, 21 May 2020

Around 1,000 McDonald’s workers have been stood down, and hundreds are in self-isolation.

Australian universities exploit NTEU deal to slash facilities, jobs and conditions

By Mike Head, 20 May 2020

The employers are taking full advantage of the union’s role in suppressing the outrage of university workers for six weeks while it pursued backroom talks.

Australian secret interrogation powers to extend to “foreign interference”

By Mike Head, 19 May 2020

ASIO will have the power to forcibly question 14-year-olds and anyone deemed connected to a “foreign” organisation.

New Zealand Labour government promises billions for big business

By John Braddock, 19 May 2020

While handing over billions to big business through the COVID-19 crisis, Labour’s budget boosts the military and prepares a sweeping assault on the social position of the working class.

Australian Committee for Public Education holds online forum on COVID-19 and the universities crisis

By our correspondent, 19 May 2020

Academics, university professional staff, school teachers, TAFE employees and university students joined a critical discussion.

Australian government heightens trade conflict with China

By Mike Head, 18 May 2020

Successive Australian governments have been in the forefront of imposing tariffs and other restrictions on imports from China.

“The idea of school and teaching right now fills me with anxiety, dread and stress... it usually fuels me with joy, excitement and happiness”

Australian teachers speak out about unsafe schools and excessive workloads

By Sue Phillips, 18 May 2020

A survey of 10,000 teachers reveals that fewer than one in four felt safe working at schools at the end of term one and 60 percent had high levels of anxiety about returning to work.

Australian governments exploit mass unemployment to coerce workers into unsafe workplaces

By Mike Head, 16 May 2020

Nearly half a million workers dropped out of the workforce in April, yet unemployment and underemployment still reached a record total of 19.9 percent.

Unemployment soars in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 16 May 2020

Having handed tens of billions of dollars to big business, the Labour Party-led government is presiding over an increase in unemployment and social misery on a scale not seen in generations.

Thousands of migrant workers demonstrate across India; Tamil Nadu cleaners demand COVID-19 protection

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

16 May 2020

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

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.

New Zealand government removes more COVID-19 restrictions

By Tom Peters, 13 May 2020

The Labour Party-led government is moving to appease big business and ignoring calls from scientists for an extension of lockdown measures.

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.

New Zealand nurses’ union embroiled in factional crisis

By John Braddock, 9 May 2020

The simmering crisis has erupted as nurses and other health workers are carrying the brunt of the struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

New Zealand government exploits pandemic to boost police and military powers

By Tom Peters, 7 May 2020

The government is testing police state measures that will be used against opposition to mass unemployment and the social crisis triggered by the pandemic.

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.

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.

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.

Tourism collapse threatens Pacific islands with deepening poverty

By John Braddock, 4 May 2020

In preparation for social unrest as their economies collapse, many Pacific island governments are using the COVID-19 pandemic to impose authoritarian measures.

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.

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.

New Zealand teachers and nurses oppose easing of lockdown

By Tom Peters, 24 April 2020

Even as new COVID-19 cases are reported each day, the Labour Party-led government is gambling with the lives and health of the population.

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 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.

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.

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.