Workers’ Rights and Industrial

The Socialist Alliance condemns the federal government's attempts to use allegations of criminality in the building and construction industry to launch a full-scale attack on the union movement.

In response to the announcement by General Motors from its corporate headquarters in Detroit that it will discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017

Over the years, I have heard many left-wing activists say that mass peaceful protests do not achieve anything. Rather, “militant actions” which “take it up to the ruling class” are more important.

Our wages, living conditions and democratic rights have been fought for and won over two centuries by working people, and their basic defence organisations, the trade unions.

Ford's announcement that it will close its last vehicle manufacturing plants in Australia - in Geelong and Broadmeadows - destroying the jobs of 1,200, is "totally despicable", said Sue Bull, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Corio.

As workers around the world take to the streets to celebrate May Day, we are sharply aware that the capitalist system has reached a point of development where it threatens the habitability of the planet on which we all live.

The federal government said on February 23 it would introduce several changes to the 457 temporary visa program, to take effect from July. The proposals were applauded by the Australian Council of Trade Unions and criticised by big business.

Experienced crane driver and union activist Billy Ramsay was killed on the Grocon construction site in central Melbourne on February 18. This news was buried many pages inside the Murdoch-owned Herald Sun daily tabloid.

The mining industry in Australia has boomed from about 4% of GDP in 2004 to about 9% today. Mining exports in the year to March last year were worth $155 billion, or 53% of Australia's total exports.

Jobs for all at a living wage

  • Legislate the minimum wage at around 60 per cent of average weekly earnings ($560 at the end of 2003).
  • Shorten the working week (without loss of pay) to spread around available work.
  • Stop privatisation and rebuild a modern, democratically managed public sector.

Repeal all anti-union laws, defend and extend the right to organise

  • Enact a workplace Bill of Rights that guarantees workers and unions the right to organise and protest. Full recognition of unions and union representatives.

For 20 years we have had employer-contributed compulsory superannuation (ECS), currently at the rate of 9% of gross income. This was “sold” as part of the social wage and as an expansion of the provision of enhanced retirement benefits for Australian workers beyond those then limited to public sector and management in the private sector.

The Socialist Alliance supports the work of sex worker organisations in their campaigns for decriminalisation, and for occupational health and safety.