Search Results: trade unions

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How the working class became white

    • Evan Smith
    • 26 October 2016
    19 Comments

    While the White Australia Policy attempted to prevent non-white workers from living and working in Australia, people from across the globe continued to do both, although often at the margins of white Australian society. The Australian Labor Party and the trade unions were complicit in maintaining this racial divide. In Australia today, a new wave of migrants is working in convenience stores, driving taxis or cleaning buildings. They are part of the Australian working class, but are often not considered such.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Responsibility for royal commissions' effectiveness lies with us

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 10 October 2016
    2 Comments

    'Finally!' we might think, regarding the commencement of the royal commission after the mainstream revelation of the abuses at Don Dale and other juvenile detention centres. But is this just another deferral to a disinterested power? What can we hope will come of moves like this from leaders whose own legitimacy feels so craven and thin? I suspect not much. There are already claims the royal commission into the protection and detention of children in the NT is on shaky ground.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'War on business' rhetoric echoes '07 union bashing

    • Brendan Byrne
    • 26 June 2016
    15 Comments

    Whether or not the person in the now notorious 'fake tradie' ad is or isn't a 'real' tradie is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is a primary example of the co-option of the language of class struggle and economic justice that has so thoroughly poisoned economic debate in the industrialised West. Implicit within it is a patronising view of the working class that dismisses them as gullible dupes who can be made to entrench the privilege of the few in return for the paltry crumbs of consumer hedonism.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis' social activism has long roots

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 15 May 2016
    38 Comments

    Pope Francis is determined to highlight the opposition of Christian social thinking to the tenets of neoliberalism or market fundamentalism, an ideology which assumes that free markets of themselves will produce the best outcome, and which pushes aside considerations of social or distributive justice. It is unlikely Francis would be waving the flag of social justice so boldly on the world stage had Pope Leo XIII not written his famous social manifesto, Rerum Novarum, 125 years ago.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It’s time Mr Heydon was taken to court

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 September 2015
    7 Comments

    Senator Penny Wong moved a motion requesting the Governor-General to sack Dyson Heydon from the unions royal commission. This is a disgrace. It evokes memories of Governor General John Kerr sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam almost 40 years ago. The unions must appeal Heydon's decision to the courts, or abide by the umpire's decision.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dyson Heydon and the PM's quest for political purity

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 August 2015
    14 Comments

    The spectacle is a strange one. Heydon has to rule on an application that directly concerns his own fitness to be in the position. It recalls the situation Lord Hoffmann found himself in after his links with Amnesty International perceptibly compromised his views on extraditing Chile's former military ruler Augusto Pinochet. Even the best jurists can fall foul of the bias rule.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Should Labor break ties with the unions?

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 August 2015
    15 Comments

    The formal link between trade unions and the Labor Party is sacred in many quarters, and has sustained both sides of the relationship for 120 years. The revelations of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, despite its anti-Labor political origins, may eventually generate change. But the question has been around for decades, and any move to break the link would be vigorously opposed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Single person household' slight on working poor

    • Brian Lawrence
    • 13 April 2015
    6 Comments

    A fair minimum wage has to be fair to workers with family responsibilities, many of whom are currently working poor and living in poverty. But in its 2014 Annual Wage Review decision, the Fair Work Commission  decided that the 'appropriate reference household for the purposes of setting minimum wages is the single person household'. This was the first time in more than a century of minimum wage setting that an industrial tribunal has decided that minimum wages should exclude the needs of the low paid with families.

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  • EDUCATION

    Soccer as a Jesuit plot

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 July 2014
    11 Comments

    One of the more unlikely pieces of speculation to emerge from the World Cup concerned the origins of soccer in Brazil. A historian of the game claimed that it had been introduced by the Jesuits. According to the thinking of the Jesuits at St Louis School in Itu, near São Paulo, 'all the muscles [would] work harmoniously, and the moral lessons imbibed from sportsmanship [would] be assimilated by the students.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abuse and corruption the Australian way

    • John Warhurst
    • 29 June 2014
    16 Comments

    We should open our eyes and take in what multiple government inquiries, among them the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, are telling us about Australian society. It is not enough to focus on just one; we should consider the revelations cumulatively. It is little exaggeration to say that almost no major institution in our society, public or private, has been left untouched. We should join the dots and cry.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of expression for the rest of us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 03 April 2014
    6 Comments

    How ironic that, even as Attorney General Brandis ensures the rights of 'bigots', the rest of us find our own rights under threat. Liberal state governments continue to roll out laws that affect the more marginalised and less privileged among us. Victoria's new 'anti-protest' laws and Queensland's 'anti-bikie' laws threaten public protest and assembly, which for most of us is how we exercise our freedom of expression.

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  • RELIGION

    Christian social thinking for Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 November 2013
    1 Comment

    'Many Catholics wonder how we can maintain our Christian faith at this time in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and the many judgmental utterances about sexuality and reproduction. The Church that has spoken longest and loudest about sex in all its modalities seems to be one of the social institutions most needing to get its own house in order.' Frank Brennan's address to the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, 8 November 2013. 

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