Australia and South Pacific

Two hundred thousand Indian midday meal workers still on strike; Tamil Nadu data entry workers protest: Tigerair pilots walkout in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 January 2019

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

Fish kills highlight mismanagement of Australian waterways

By Martin Scott, 25 January 2019

Drought alone cannot be blamed for the environmental crisis in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Australia: Port Kembla Coal Terminal locks out workers

By John Harris, 25 January 2019

The union created the conditions for the company attack and has isolated the workers since they were locked-out on Saturday morning.

Rally to demand the Australian government acts to free Julian Assange!

Sydney Martin Place Amphitheatre, 2pm, March 3! Melbourne State Library, 1pm, March 10!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 25 January 2019

The Australian government has the undeniable duty and power to intervene to secure freedom for Julian Assange. The record has demonstrated, however, that it will take such action only if it is compelled to do so by the greatest pressure from below.

Julian Assange issues “urgent” legal challenge against US extradition plans

By Mike Head, 24 January 2019

The WikiLeaks founder is seeking to block a concerted operation to terminate his political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy.

Australia: BlueScope steelworkers vote to strike at Port Kembla

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 January 2019

The Australian Workers Union is trying to isolate the workers and impose a sell-out enterprise agreement.

Lawsuits against Australian government reveal horror in refugee camp

By Max Newman, 24 January 2019

Former Manus Island detention centre security staff members have filed cases alleging physical and psychological harm.

Minister’s resignation highlights unravelling of Australia’s ruling Coalition

By Mike Head, 23 January 2019

Kelly O’Dwyer’s announcement is another sign of political instability.

New Zealand Labour government entrenches anti-worker measures

By John Braddock, 23 January 2019

The plummeting social position of the working class is an indictment of the Labour-led government and the trade unions.

Migrants in Australia hit by longer welfare wait

By Martin Scott, 22 January 2019

Immigrants in western Sydney, already confronting high unemployment and a lack of affordable housing, now face a four-year wait for welfare benefits.

Australia: State government report indicates Opal Tower should not have been reoccupied

By John Wilson, 19 January 2019

While the authors claim the building will not collapse, they detail both major damage and minor damage to the structure of the building.

Australian prime minister’s Pacific visit reinforces militarist line up against China

By Mike Head, 19 January 2019

The trip underscored the bullying nature of the turn by Canberra to reassert its predatory interests in the South West Pacific, and that of Washington, against Beijing.

Australian fake left promote Greens, trade unions and Labor at anti-fascist protest

By our reporters, 19 January 2019

The claim that the Labor and the unions can serve as bulwark against fascism is a dangerous echo of the disastrous Popular Front policies of the Stalinist Parties in the 1930s.

Hyundai and Samsung workers protest in India; Cambodian garment workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 January 2019

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

Extreme heatwave hits Australia

By Frank Gaglioti, 18 January 2019

The extended period of high temperatures is having serious impacts on people’s health, as well as agriculture and wildlife.

Signs of slump in Australia overshadow looming election

By Mike Head, 18 January 2019

Regardless of all the promises, a sharp downturn will drive another wave of austerity measures and job-shedding once an election is out of the way.

Australia: Widespread opposition to violent arrest of elderly Sydney protester

By our reporters, 16 January 2019

Footage of 74-year-old Danny Lim being set upon by three police officers provoked anger on social media.

Engineers disagree on whether Australian high rise is safe to reoccupy

By John Wilson, 15 January 2019

Some residents of Opal Tower in Sydney have moved back in, despite one engineering report advising against it.

Australia: Casual coal miners begin week long strike in Wollongong

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 January 2019

Labor and the unions, which have spearheaded the destruction of full-time jobs, are cynically exploiting the stoppage to posture as opponents of growing casualisation.

Financial warnings point to Australia’s economic and political instability

By Mike Head, 12 January 2019

Two reports raise the spectre of a financial crisis that would blow up the pre-election claims of both the Coalition government and the Labor Party.

Indian fireworks workers protest over layoffs, Pakistan water treatment workers walkout; New Caledonia nickel miners extend strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 January 2019

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US Senate confirms top-level political “fixer” as ambassador to Australia

By Mike Head, 8 January 2019

Culvahouse’s appointment underscores Washington’s determination to ensure there is not the slightest deviation in Australia’s front line role in any conflict with China.

Evacuated Opal Tower residents in Australia express anger and dismay

By our reporters, 8 January 2019

Residents of Opal Tower in Sydney have been living in temporary accommodation since the discovery of large broken concrete panels in the building.

Opal Tower structural flaws expose rot in Australian construction industry

By John Wilson, 7 January 2019

Residents have been told they must wait at least another week before they can reoccupy the building because the specific cause of the cracking has yet to be identified.

Ecuador unveils “special examination” of Julian Assange’s asylum

By Mike Head, 5 January 2019

The Moreno government’s investigation into the granting of the WikiLeaks founder’s asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship is clearly designed to repudiate both.

Growing signs of Australian economic fragility

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 January 2019

A marked slump in the property market is one expression of broader recessionary tendencies.

Australian stripped of citizenship despite being made stateless

By Mike Head, 5 January 2019

Prakash’s case has set a far-reaching precedent because the government has proceeded even though Fijian authorities rejected Canberra’s declaration that he is a citizen of that country.

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

By James Cogan, 4 January 2019

Not a word about Rudy Giuliani’s Fox News interview has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

Australia: Structural faults in 36-storey building cause mass evacuation

By our reporters, 3 January 2019

Self-regulation and self-certification have been introduced in every area of the construction industry over the past 25 years, to speed up approval processes and maximise profits.

South Australian university partners with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin

By Eric Ludlow, 31 December 2018

The decision by the University of Adelaide, behind the backs of students and staff, marks the further integration of Australian universities into the US-led war drive against China and Russia.

One million Indian bank workers strike; tens of thousands of Korean taxi drivers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2018

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

Australian Greens riven by factional conflicts as MP resigns

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 December 2018

Jeremy Buckingham tore up a piece of paper with “toxic NSW Greens” written on it, as he told the media he was quitting the party.

Social crisis worsens under New Zealand Labour Party-led government

By Tom Peters, 28 December 2018

The promises of the ruling Labour Party-NZ First-Greens coalition to address poverty and inequality have been exposed as a fraud.

Death toll rises from Indonesian tsunami

By Richard Phillips, 27 December 2018

Heavy monsoonal rains have made some roads impassable, holding up the delivery of heavy machinery and desperately needed relief supplies to isolated areas.

NSW Ambulance makes stunning reversal of allegation against Australian paramedic Tony Jenkins

By Cheryl Crisp, 27 December 2018

Scrutiny of the “Root Cause Analysis” forces reversal of allegation against veteran NSW paramedic.

At least 280 dead as tsunami hits Indonesian settlements

By Richard Phillips, 24 December 2018

The devastation caused by what are termed natural disasters is compounded by inadequate warning systems and infrastructure, and by the poverty that is rife in the region.

As Australian government unravels, Labor prepares to take office

By Mike Head, 24 December 2018

Key sections of the ruling capitalist elite are again looking to a Labor government to impose “sacrifice” on the working class.

New Zealand government calls for greater US military presence in the Pacific

By Tom Peters, 24 December 2018

The Labour Party-led government’s call for a stronger American military presence in the Pacific region flows from New Zealand’s integration into US war plans against China.

Australian Labor Party rejects demands to increase unemployment benefits

By Robert Campion, 22 December 2018

The national party conference’s unanimous stand against the poorest members of the working class exposed the utter fraud of Labor’s “fair go for Australia” logo.

ICAC raids Labor Party office in major escalation of anti-China campaign in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 December 2018

The raid is the latest chapter in an ongoing attempt by the political and media establishment to whip-up a wartime atmosphere and xenophobia against China.

Australia: Understaffing and equipment shortages at new Sydney public-private hospital

By Clare Bruderlin, 21 December 2018

The state Liberal government marketed the $840 million hospital as having state-of-the-art facilities.

Australian union leader warns of eruption of working class struggle

By Mike Head, 20 December 2018

ACTU secretary Sally McManus invoked the spectre of a tsunami of social unrest unless a Labor government bolstered the policing role of the trade unions.

Australian Labor Party steps up commitment to US alliance in “disrupted world”

By Mike Head, 19 December 2018

Amid the rising US-China conflict, the party conference rejected calls to sign the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty because it would “tear up” the American alliance.

Actor Geoffrey Rush denies new #MeToo-inspired claims of “inappropriate” behaviour

By James Cogan, 19 December 2018

Rush, as he waits for a ruling on legal action he took in late 2017 to defend himself, now faces a new attack on his character.

Australian Labor Party to boost police-military operations to block refugees

By Mike Head, 18 December 2018

Shorten unequivocally restated Labor’s intent to keep using the navy to push back refugee boats and to retain the “offshore processing” regime of detaining asylum seekers on remote Pacific islands.

MSF reveals “mental health suffering” in Australia’s Nauru refugee detention camp

By Max Newman, 17 December 2018

Médecins Sans Frontières said the mental health problems were among the worst it had ever seen anywhere in the world.

Australian Labor Party leaders warn of rising popular discontent

By Mike Head, 17 December 2018

Party leader, Bill Shorten, insisted that anger, frustration and discontent within the working class were the Labor's Party’s main “opponent,” not the current Liberal-National Coalition government.

Australian workers and youth speak out in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 December 2018

“The Australian government’s role in the attacks on Assange has been pathetic, gutless, disgraceful. They just do what the US deep state tells them to do.”

“Lefts” ensure stage-managed Australian Labor Party conference

By Mike Head, 15 December 2018

As the ALP prepares for government, the factional powerbrokers have held intensive backroom negotiations to carefully orchestrate the party conference and put on a show of unity.

Australian Labor Party prepares for government amid political and economic turmoil

By Mike Head, 14 December 2018

For all the “fair go” rhetoric, Labor’s three-day conference will seek the backing of big business for a government that can suppress unrest, impose austerity and prepare for further US-led wars.

Australian Amazon worker alleges unfair dismissal

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 December 2018

The Sydney worker has claimed he was sacked for joining a union and asking for more hours per week.

The Australian Labor Party and the persecution of Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 13 December 2018

Far from protecting the “safety” of an Australian overseas, Labor has lined up completely with Washington and placed itself at the forefront of the attack on the WikiLeaks publisher.

Witch hunt in Australia against Chinese-born parliamentarian

By Peter Symonds, 12 December 2018

The smears and innuendo against Pierre Yang are part of a campaign aimed at silencing any criticism or opposition to the escalating US war drive against China.

Australian university moves to sack academic critical of Israeli and US wars

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 December 2018

The University of Sydney’s suspension of Tim Anderson is aimed at intimidating students and academics opposed to escalating militarism and war.

Australia: Thousands protest climate change and new Adani coal mine

By our reporters, 10 December 2018

The environmental groups that organised the rally are seeking to subordinate an emerging movement of young people to the very parties responsible for environmental destruction.

Teachers strike in South Australia and Tasmania

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 December 2018

The Australian Education Union is seeking to divide the struggles and push through sell-out enterprise agreements in both states.

80th anniversary of the Fourth International celebrated in Melbourne with public lecture

By our reporters, 8 December 2018

David North, chairman of the World Socialist Web Site international editorial board and the Socialist Equality Party (US), will speak tomorrow in Wellington, New Zealand.

Ecuadorian president hints again at moves to renege on Julian Assange’s asylum

By James Cogan, 7 December 2018

The fight for the freedom of Assange is a matter of fundamental political principle.

More warnings of an Australian property market crash

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 December 2018

Sydney’s house prices registered their sharpest monthly decline in 14 years, accompanied by rising mortgage stress and indications of a broader economic slowdown.

The Guardian attack on Assange exposed as politically-motivated fabrication

By James Cogan, 6 December 2018

The lack of any case against WikiLeaks explains the scurrilous allegations by the Guardian newspaper last week.

Australian government to impose encryption-cracking bill with Labor’s support

By Mike Head, 6 December 2018

The anti-democratic legislation hands extraordinary powers to the spy and police forces, setting a global precedent for accessing computers and encrypted private data.

Australian government censors university research funding

By Mike Head, 5 December 2018

As well as vetoing peer-reviewed research grants, the government has imposed a more stringent “national interest” test.

Australia’s governing Liberal Party wracked by factional conflicts

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 December 2018

The public recriminations between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull underscore the depth of the divisions within the Liberal Party.

Australia: Newcastle participants in high school climate strike speak out

By our reporters, 3 December 2018

IYSSE campaigners stressed that the danger of climate change could only be resolved through the socialist re-organisation of the world.

“Well-paid journalists have become gormless cyphers of the propaganda of war”

John Pilger discusses his “The Power of the Documentary” film festival

By Richard Phillips, 3 December 2018

Veteran journalist and filmmaker John Pilger spoke with the WSWS last week about his film festival and the political issues confronting serious journalists today.

Australian Labor Party helps disintegrating government impose repressive laws

By Mike Head, 1 December 2018

Labor is working hand-in-glove with the Liberal-National Coalition to push through a series of draconian laws.

Thousands of Australian high school students join climate change strike

By our correspondents, 1 December 2018

The rallies showed the growing politicisation of a generation that has grown up amid continuous war, growing inequality and worsening environmental destruction.

New Zealand teachers’ struggle at a crossroads

By Tom Peters, 1 December 2018

Teachers are determined to fight, but the unions are attempting to suppress their struggle by promoting illusions in the Labour-led government.

Attentive audience at David North’s Sydney launch of The Heritage We Defend

By our reporter, 1 December 2018

David North explained the relevance of the history of the Fourth International for today’s worldwide eruption of struggles by the working class and young people.

India: Contract health workers remain on strike in Bihar; South Australian teachers strike over pay and conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 December 2018

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

Thousands forced to flee “catastrophic” fire event in Australia

By Mike Head, 30 November 2018

Residents in central Queensland were shocked and often caught unawares as flames as high as 20 metres suddenly loomed over their homes.

Baby’s death on Australia’s Gold Coast points to worsening social conditions

By Gary Alvernia, 29 November 2018

The discovery of a dead baby at Surfers Paradise is a tragic expression of intensifying poverty, social inequality, underfunding of public services and government indifference.

Australian government announces early budget

By Mike Head, 28 November 2018

As the government tears itself apart, the prime minister is engaged in a desperate bid to hold onto office until May, 2019, the latest possible date for the next election.

Australian prime minister denounces students’ climate-change protests

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 November 2018

Scott Morrison’s comments expressed the acute fear of the ruling establishment that students and young people are beginning to enter into political struggle.

SEP meeting and livestream on December 16: What next in the fight to free Julian Assange?

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 28 November 2018

The meeting will discuss the Socialist Equality Party’s political perspective to mobilise and lead the defence of Julian Assange.

Australian parliamentary inquiry discusses intensifying internet censorship

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 November 2018

The hearing pointed to the political establishment seeking to suppress mounting opposition to war, austerity and authoritarianism.

Labor re-elected with increased majority in Australian state of Victoria

By James Cogan, 26 November 2018

The outcome in Victoria has plunged the Liberal Party nationally into bitter infighting.

Australian government accelerates anti-democratic “foreign influence” register

By Mike Head, 26 November 2018

The legislation is aimed at criminalising opposition to Australia’s central role in the US-led preparations for war with China.

Australia: World War I centenary “celebrations” end with stepped-up militaristic propaganda

By Richard Phillips, 26 November 2018

The ongoing barrage of patriotic and pro-war rhetoric is aimed at conditioning young people for future imperialist wars.

Australia: Youth speak out against environmental destruction, poverty and war

By our reporters, 24 November 2018

Geelong high school students joined one of many planned “walk-outs for climate action.”

Australian parliament to pass expanded laws to call out the military to suppress domestic unrest

By Mike Head, 23 November 2018

The bill is another warning of plans to suppress growing discontent and political disaffection.

Australia: Riot police tear-gas youth at Don Dale juvenile prison

By Martin Scott, 23 November 2018

The Northern Territory facility, repeatedly deemed unfit for children, has been the scene of years of state-sanctioned abuse and violence.

Fascist group exposed in youth wing of Australia’s National Party

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 November 2018

The “alt-right” elements gained entry into one of the capitalist elite’s main parties under conditions of a shift to the right by the entire political establishment.

To stem climate change, capitalism must be ended

By the IYSSE (Australia), 22 November 2018

The following statement will be distributed at high school “walk-outs for climate change” across Australia.

At APEC, PM puts Australia on frontline of US confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2018

Australian Prime Minister Morrison lined up with US Vice President Pence at the recent APEC meeting, as China’s policies were denounced across the board.

Bipartisan push to ramp up police powers after Australia’s latest “terror” attack

By Mike Head, 21 November 2018

Amid another anti-Muslim scare campaign, the Labor Party defended its “fine record of bipartisanship on national security.”

Australian establishment collaborates in US vendetta against Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 20 November 2018

The sealed US charges underscore the danger facing Assange and the perfidy of those who support his persecution.

Australian pseudo-left group Victorian Socialists promote Greens, Labor

By Patrick O’Connor, 20 November 2018

In the state election, the Victorian Socialists are trying to channel the emerging shift to the left among workers and youth back behind the parliamentary apparatus.

Australian Greens pursue right-wing coalition government with Labor in Victoria

By Patrick O’Connor, 19 November 2018

Resting upon a wealthy, upper-middle class base, the Greens are determined to extend their influence within the political establishment.

Anti-Chinese campaign escalates in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 17 November 2018

The media and the Labour Party-led government have painted Chinese investment in the Pacific as a threat to New Zealand.

Defend Julian Assange against US charges!

By James Cogan, 17 November 2018

The relentless persecution of Assange is intended to intimidate and silence all critical and independent journalists and media organisations, as well as would-be whistleblowers.

Indian chrome miners strike over safety; Western Australian mine workers walkout over “wage theft”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 November 2018

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

Fiji First Party retains power in sham election

By John Braddock, 16 November 2018

The election, marked by widespread voter abstention, was a contest between two parties run by former military coup leaders.

Australian teacher unions’ phoney campaign against NAPLAN

By Erika Zimmer, 16 November 2018

The teacher unions have no principled opposition to the high-stakes testing agenda, while Australian teachers have opposed it from the start.

Geoffrey Rush’s lawyer slams “gutter journalism” in Sydney defamation trial

By Linda Tenenbaum and Richard Phillips, 15 November 2018

Bruce McClintock SC likened the methods of the Daily Telegraph to those of newspapers published by Lords Rothermere and Beaverbrook, as described by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in 1931.

Ex-Australian Labor Party leader joins far-right anti-immigrant One Nation

By Mike Head, 13 November 2018

The Hanson-Latham union is another stark example of the intense efforts being made to push the entire parliamentary establishment further in a Trump-style direction.

Australia: Welfare cut leaves asylum seekers facing destitution

By Max Newman, 13 November 2018

A new report shows that nearly 80 percent of those cut off benefits are at risk of homelessness.

Australia: Alleged terror attacker “known to police and intelligence agencies”

By Patrick O’Connor, 12 November 2018

The deranged actions of an individual in need of psychological treatment were seized upon by the media and politicians to whip up resentment against immigrants, particularly Muslims.

New Zealand rail union enforces another pro-company pay deal

By our correspondent, 10 November 2018

In 2016, the Labour Party-dominated Greater Wellington Regional Council privatised the region's commuter rail service, to save $NZ100 million over 15 years at the expense of jobs, wages and conditions.

Thousands of Indian contract workers remain on strike; 29,000 New Zealand primary school teachers to take national strike action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 November 2018

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