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Oz: When it Rains it Pours.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 15/04/2021 - 6:05pm in

Tags 

Australia, Science

Weather extremes have always been a feature of this great southern land. The thing is that those changes seem to be getting more extreme and more frequent and more extended geographically, affecting places normally free of them

 

Yes, Australia is a land of flooding rains. But climate change could be making it worse Etching of the 1867 flood in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, depicting the Eather family. illustrated Sydney News/author provided Joelle Gergis, Australian National University

Over the past three years, I’ve been working on the forthcoming report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I’m a climate scientist who contributed to the chapter on global water cycle changes. It’s concerning to think some theoretical impacts described in this report may be coming to life – yet again – in Australia.

The recent flooding in New South Wales is consistent with what we might expect as climate change continues.

Australia’s natural rainfall patterns are highly variable. This means the influence climate change has on any single weather event is difficult to determine; the signal is buried in the background of a lot of climatic “noise”.

But as our planet warms, the water-holding capacity of the lower atmosphere increases by around 7% for every 1℃ of warming. This can cause heavier rainfall, which in turn increases flood risk.

The oceans are also warming, especially at the surface. This drives up both evaporation rates and the transport of moisture into weather systems. This makes wet seasons and wet events wetter than usual.

So while Australia has always experienced floods, disasters like the one unfolding in NSW are likely to become more frequent and intense as climate change continues.

People watch swollen river Flooding is likely to become more severe as the planet warms. AAP Understanding the basics

To understand how a warming world is influencing the water cycle, it’s helpful to return to the theory.

From year to year, Australia’s climate is subject to natural variability generated by the surrounding Pacific, Indian and Southern oceans. The dominant drivers for a given year set up the background climate conditions that influence rainfall and temperature.

It is a combination of these natural climate drivers that makes Australia the land of drought and flooding rains.

However, Australia’s climate variability is no longer influenced by natural factors alone. Australia’s climate has warmed by 1.4℃ since national records began in 1910, with most of the warming occurring since 1970. Human-caused greenhouse emissions have influenced Australian temperatures in our region since 1950.

This warming trend influences the background conditions under which both extremes of the rainfall cycle will operate as the planet continues to warm. A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture (higher water vapour content), which can lead to more extreme rainfall events.

A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture which can lead to more extreme rainfall events. Climate Council

Since the winter of 2020, Australia has been influenced by the La Niña phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Historically, sustained La Niña conditions, sometimes with the help of a warmer than average Indian Ocean, have set the scene for severe flooding in eastern Australia.

During these events, easterly winds intensify and oceans around Australia warm. This is associated with the Walker Circulation – a giant seesaw of atmospheric pressure that influences the distribution of warm ocean waters across the Pacific Ocean.

The last La Niña occurred in 2010–2012. It led to widespread flooding across eastern Australia, with particularly devastating effects in Queensland. The event caused the wettest two-year period in the Australian rainfall record, ending the 1997–2009 Millennium Drought.

Oceanographers from UNSW studied the exceptional event. They demonstrated how a warmer ocean increased the likelihood of extreme rain during that event, primarily through increased transport of moist air along the coast.

Their analysis highlighted how long‐term ocean warming can modify rain-producing systems, increasing the probability of extreme rainfall during La Niña events.

It is important to point out that changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns are still not as well understood as fundamental changes in thermodynamics. However, because regional rainfall changes will be influenced by both factors, it will take researchers time to tease everything out.

So what about climate change?

The theoretical changes to the global water cycle are well understood. However, determining the contribution of natural and human influences on climate variability and extremes – known as “attribution” – is still an emerging science.

More studies are needed to distinguish natural or “background” rainfall variability from recent human-caused changes to the water cycle. This is particularly the case in a country like Australia, which has very high yearly rainfall variability. This contrasts with some regions of the Northern Hemisphere with less variable rainfall, where a clear climate change signal has already emerged.

Right now, La Niña conditions are decaying in the Pacific Ocean. As expected, the 2020–2021 La Niña has brought above-average rainfall to much of eastern Australia. This helped ease the severe drought conditions across eastern Australia since 2017, particularly in NSW.

NSW rainfall total, week ending March 22, 2021 NSW rainfall totals for the week ending March 22, 2021. Bureau of Meteorology

What’s interesting about the 2020–2021 La Niña is that it was weak compared with historical events. The relationship between La Niña and rainfall is generally weaker in coastal NSW than further inland. However, it’s concerning that this weak La Niña caused flooding comparable to the iconic floods of the 1950s and 1970s.

The rainfall totals for the current floods are yet to be analysed. However, early figures reveal the enormity of the downpours. For example, over the week to March 23, the town of Comboyne, southwest of Port Macquarie, recorded an extraordinary 935mm of rainfall. This included three successive days with more than 200mm.

The NSW coast is no stranger to extreme rainfall – there have been five events in the past decade with daily totals exceeding 400mm. However, the current event is unusual because of its duration and geographic extent.

It’s also worth noting the current extreme rainfall in NSW was associated with a coastal trough, not an East Coast Low. Many of the region’s torrential rainfall events in the past have resulted from East Coast Lows, although their rainfall is normally more localised than has been the case in this widespread event.

Remember that as the air warms, its water-holding capacity increases, particularly over the oceans. Current ocean temperatures around eastern and northern Australia are about 1℃ warmer than the long-term average, and closer to 1.5℃ warmer than average off the NSW coast. These warmer conditions are likely to be fuelling the systems driving the extreme rainfall and associated flooding in NSW.

Sea surface temperature anomalies along the NSW coast. Bureau of Meteorology A nation exposed

Weather and climate are not the only influences on extreme flood events. Others factors include the shape and size of water catchments, the presence of hard surfaces in urban areas (which cant’t absorb water), and the density of human settlement in flood-prone areas.

The Hawkesbury–Nepean region in Western Sydney, currently experiencing major flooding, is a prime example. Five major tributaries, including the Warragamba and Nepean Rivers, flow into this extensively urbanised valley.

Improving our understanding of historical weather data may help improve future climate change risk assessment. For example, past floods in the Hawkesbury–Nepean have been a lot worse than the current disaster. In 1867, the Hawkesbury River at Windsor reached 19.7 metres above normal, and in 1961 peaked at 14.5 metres. This is worse than the 13.12 metres above normal recorded at Freemans Reach on March 23.

It’s sobering to think the Hawkesbury River once peaked 6 metres higher than what we’re seeing right now. Imagine the potential future flooding caused by an East Coast Low during strong La Niña conditions.

It will take time before scientists can provide a detailed analysis of the 2020–2021 La Niña event. But it’s crystal clear that Australia is very exposed to damage caused by extreme rainfall. Our theoretical understanding of water cycle changes tells us these events will only become more intense as our planet continues to warm.The Conversation

Joelle Gergis, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, Australian National University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Vida Goldstein: pioneer in the fight against sexism and poverty

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 15/04/2021 - 4:27pm in

Tags 

Australia, sexism

Vida Goldstein was a leading Australian suffragette and campaigner for women’s rights in the late 19th and early 20th century who courageously challenged the prevailing sexism in society.

Jacqueline Kent’s new biography illuminates Goldstein’s extraordinary life in the context of the social movements and political debates of the period. It highlights her steadfast ideals and ability to organise movements which boldly intervened in society to effect change.

As women again rise to challenge inequality and oppression, this biography provides an inspiring example about both previous struggles and future possibilities.

Vida Goldstein was born in 1869 in Portland, Victoria, into a middle-class family. She grew up in Melbourne, which was a wealthy city but also one in which large numbers of working people lived in squalid, overcrowded conditions.

Vida’s mother, Isabelle, was influenced by moderate Christian socialism and worked to gain aid for the unemployed, better conditions for female prisoners and to organise Australia’s first creche in Collingwood to provide childcare for working women.

In her youth Vida joined these campaigns and also a committee led by the first female medical doctors to initiate and raise funds for a women’s health clinic and later to establish the Queen Victoria Women’s Hospital.

Right to vote

The unequal status of women and their exclusion from political life was being challenged by a new generation of women. In 1891 Goldstein joined the campaign for women’s suffrage, collecting signatures for a petition to the Victorian Parliament. Some 30,000 signatures were collected on what became known as the “monster petition” for women’s right to vote.

Following this, legislation granting the vote to women passed the Victorian Legislative Assembly 17 times, only to be blocked by the conservative Legislative Council (Victoria’s upper house), even though women’s suffrage (including for Indigenous women) was granted in South Australia in 1894.

This upper house was dominated by wealthy businessmen and pastoralists. While reformist liberals and early Labor representatives backed women’s suffrage, the privileged representatives repeatedly blocked the vote for women. It was this that helped cement Goldstein’s view that it was not men but the “propertied classes” that were the obstacle to women’s suffrage.

Jaqueline Kent describes the patronising attitudes and harassment faced by women campaigners when they met with the male politicians of the Legislative Council. It is a scene which unfortunately resembles the current experiences of female politicians and staffers in Federal Parliament.

Goldstein became recognised as a persuasive speaker, organiser and leader in the movement. In 1899 she was elected secretary of the United Council for Women’s Suffrage (UCWS).

While the movement was mainly led by middle class women, Goldstein worked closely with trade unionists and developed an analysis about the barriers presented by the “propertied classes” and the key role of working people in the struggle for equality. Affiliates to the UCWS included Trades Hall Council and the new Victorian Lady Teachers Association.

Goldstein herself was a strong advocate of equal pay for equal work, including in her own field of teaching. She viewed gaining political rights as a means to achieve much wider social reform and equality for women.

In 1902 the Australian Commonwealth granted the vote to most men and women aged over 21. Unfortunately, racist amendments excluded Indigenous people. This historic achievement for white women reflected the determined campaign for women’s suffrage and the labour movement’s rising support for this demand.

The Australian suffragettes had close connections with the international movement. Goldstein travelled to the USA to attend the first conference of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance and spent months on a speaking tour. She later published an Open Letter to the Women of America, which contained this advice:

“You want, and must have, the support of the rank and file of the working people. And just here is your weakness, you haven’t got it … every social reform worth having has been won only through getting the support of the workers. It is they who feel the need for reform most, because it is they who suffer most in our present social condition.”

New political rights

The 1903 federal election was the first opportunity for women to exercise their new political rights and Goldstein seized the moment, standing as an independent Victorian senate candidate. This was unprecedented and attracted great publicity.

She toured the state, speaking at large public meetings in Melbourne and country towns. While the press coverage tended to be patronising, Kent captures the extent to which Goldstein’s campaign personified a new spirit of female assertiveness which couldn’t be ignored.

Goldstein used the Senate campaign to build the confidence of other women to act and as a platform to amplify the call for women’s equality. The key elements of her program in this and future elections included equal pay, equal divorce laws and parental rights, the right of women to occupy all government and social positions such as jurors, legal and financial protection of children to age 21, and welfare support for single mothers and their families.

She asserted the need for women’s views to be heard when decisions impacting them were being made. While not elected, Goldstein won an impressive 51,497 votes for this platform of women’s equality and civil rights. Despite this, the process of achieving change proved frustrating. Victoria did not grant women the vote until 1908.

Goldstein campaigned as a candidate in four other federal elections (1910 and 1917 for the Senate and 1913 and 1914 for the House of Representatives). However, she declined suggestions to stand as a Labor Party candidate and lacked a viable electoral pathway to parliament. This independence was often criticised by key allies in the movements as being divisive, but Goldstein was suspicious of the role of “party machines” and critical of the Labor Party’s support for national military development.

Goldstein innovated and developed her political ideas and strategies. She researched, wrote and edited a newspaper Woman Voter. Goldstein engaged in sustained social activism for equal pay, a living wage for workers, to raise the age of consent and for legal reform of children’s courts.

Through this work the connections between women’s oppression and social class inequalities were evident. Goldstein became more critical of the capitalist system itself and from 1906 she wrote articles and spoke at a series of public meetings to advocate socialism, achieved through reform, as the best means to overcome inequality. This form of moderate socialism based on trade unionism, the formation of workers’ co-operatives and public ownership of utilities and industry aligned with ideas common on the left and influential in the development of the early Labor Party.

Vida Goldstein was further radicalised by the experience of the British suffragette movement, which faced harsh repression from the British state and ruling class, who refused to grant reforms. A fascinating part of this biography describes her 1911 visit to Britain as a leading participant in the mass movement for women’s suffrage.

Goldstein publicly backed the militant protest tactics used by the British suffragettes as a legitimate response to the failure of “patient work by constitutional means” and “from a knowledge, bitterly enforced upon you, that the more pacific methods employed … were bound to continue wholly ineffectual”.

On her return, she declared: “We of the Women’s Political Association are working for the same ends as the suffragettes, for the freedom of women and children and men from legal and industrial slavery, for an exalted manhood, womanhood, childhood, for higher political ideals and practices.”

Opposing war

Goldstein’s shift to the left was also occurring in a context where the women’s movement itself was becoming more fractured along class and political lines. In 1904 the conservative Australian Women’s National League (AWNL) was founded to “counteract socialistic tendencies, to educate the women of Victoria to realise their political responsibilities, to safeguard the interests of the home, women and children”.

The AWNL was sponsored by the Victorian Employers Federation and built a mass membership. By 1914 it claimed 52,000 members compared with about 1000 members of the Women’s Political Association (WPA) led by Goldstein. The AWNL would go on to become a key founding member of the Australian Liberal Party in 1944.

With the onset of the First World War, these debates and struggles became much sharper. Goldstein had previously opposed the policy of compulsory military training introduced by the Fisher Labor Government in 1911. When war was declared in 1914, the Fisher Government declared its full support for the Empire and war effort.

Amid the patriotic fervour, Goldstein was among a small minority who opposed the war from the outset. The WPA paper Woman Voter editorialised against the war and faced censorship under the War Precautions Act. In December 1914 the WPA held an outdoor meeting to protest the sharp rise in food prices caused by the war and to advocate for peace.

In 1915 Goldstein formed the Women’s Peace Army to campaign against the war. Working people and the labour movement began to shift against the war as the cost of living rose along with the death toll. The decision by Labor Prime Minister Billy Hughes to advocate conscription for overseas service created huge controversy. Trade unions and most of the Labor Party itself mobilised against conscription and formed a fighting alliance with socialists and pacifists.

Kent’s biography contains compelling accounts of this period of heroic struggle. Goldstein and other leaders such as Adela Pankhurst and Cecilia John were centrally involved in the mass agitation and struggle to defeat conscription. They braved abuse from patriotic returned soldiers to speak at public meetings and distribute anti-conscription materials on the streets.

The Women’s Peace Army mass-produced the persuasive “Blood Vote” poster which showed a woman considering the real meaning of a “Yes” vote. Goldstein’s campaign both used and subverted traditional female roles such as motherhood to challenge the barbarity of war.

Their anthem, sung at meetings, was “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier” which asks “Who dares to put a musket on his shoulder, to shoot some other mother’s darling boy”. Their campaign stripped away the patriotic gloss of war to define soldiering as state-sanctioned killing, in the interests of ruling elites alone.

The combined movement would prevail against the leading institutions of society to defeat conscription, winning a majority of “No” votes in the plebiscites of 1916 and 1917.

General strike

In August 1917 the social strain caused by war led to a mass general strike among workers in NSW and Victoria. Kent describes how the WPA’s headquarters in Melbourne became the “Guild Hall Commune”; a strike organising and relief centre, providing meals and essential supplies and services for literally thousands of striking waterside workers and their families.

In the same year, Goldstein stood for the Senate on an explicitly anti-war platform. She spoke at a mass meeting of 1500 people in Bendigo and denounced the British Empire as a “warmongering institution”. Her opponents labelled her anti-marriage, pro-German and an advocate of free love.

Standing as a radical independent, her vote fell. Regardless, Goldstein had played a crucial role in defeating conscription and building a mass movement against the scourge of war and inequality.

Following the war, Goldstein returned to Britain and attended the 1919 Zurich International Congress of Women. She was dismayed by the scale of human suffering across Europe caused by the war and the arrogance of the victors. Goldstein condemned the unjust terms of the Treaty of Versailles and warned of the likelihood of future wars.

In her writings she expressed a growing sense of pessimism and frustration about the prospects for transformative social and political change. Unfortunately, Goldstein moved away from active political involvement and her lifelong Christian faith would become the main focus of her later years.

Goldstein occupied a position as an independent and radical progressive, which became harder to maintain amid the polarisation of the period. Among her great strengths was steadfast idealism combined with independence and audacity in thought and action.

Jacqueline Kent has written an insightful and compelling biography of Vida Goldstein, a person who should be recognised as among the great figures of both the women’s movement and the left. She issued a clear call for the social and political empowerment of women, alongside a commitment to organise and fight for justice for women, working people and those in society who lack power. It is a call which carries over the decades – to reach all those organising and fighting for justice today.

By Hamish McPherson

Jacqueline Kent, Vida: A Woman for Our Time, Penguin (2020), $34.99.

The post Vida Goldstein: pioneer in the fight against sexism and poverty appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Union News: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/04/2021 - 8:56pm in

source
After six weeks the McCormick strike is over … and the workers won!

Not happy with having denied their essential workers any pay rise the last five years, this year – after having its workers working throughout the Victorian lockdowns – McCormick wanted a repeat. But not even that was enough for McCormick: they also wanted to slash working conditions.

On February 25th McCormick staff, represented by United Workers Union, went on “protected industrial action” (in Australia strikes are only protected – that is, lawful – during enterprise bargaining discussions, plus a long list of other requisites).

All of us who in one way or another supported our McCormick comrades during this strike can legitimately share the satisfaction that victory entails.

With the exception of The Canberra Times, the national media apparently chose to disregard that victory. Not newsworthy, I suppose. Thanks for nothing, fellas. Regional outlets seemed more interested.
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 The national media showed more interest in Hungry Panda riders Jun Yang and Xiangqian Li, who on March 16th won a case filed on their behalf by the Transport Workers’ Union. Yang and Li had been dismissed by their employer after protesting a cut in their pay rates. This is the TWU official press release.

The ABC’s Lydia Feng quoted Jun Yang as saying: “After weeks of protests, meetings with politicians and negotiations with the company I have been offered my job back at the high level I had worked hard to maintain for over a year”.

And Xiangqian Li as having said “a tough few weeks but the riders and union supported us and this result is a big relief for us”.

There’s strength in union. Join your union.
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 In Australia the Fair Work Commission is the official body responsible for maintaining the federal awards system, including award wages. The idea is that the FWC is a kind of umpire, tasked to balance the competing interests of workers and bosses.

The thing is that these times have been extremely good for bosses, but crappier than usual for workers, to the point that even RBA Governor Philip Lowe – not known for his love for workers –  has repeatedly warned that wages should increase.

source The FWC is currently receiving submissions towards this year’s update of said awards.

Guess what’s the official position of the Morrison Government on wage rises? Last week The Guardian’s Greg Jericho reported that, consistent with its endless class war against workers, the Morrison Government is pressing the FWC to “take a cautious approach” to raising the minimum wage (that, I suppose, is the job they had in mind for Sophie Mirabella). If you are dependent on awards, you could well be in for especially tough times.

This comes after the same bunch of bastards Morrison Government sank hundreds of thousands of Australian workers into unemployment and poverty with the end of JobKeeper and of the COVID19 supplement to JobSeeker (aka NewStart Allowance).
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 The unionisation drive at the Amazon Bessemer workhouse “fulfillment centre” came to a disappointing end. The ABC’s Sarah Ferguson had reported that about 80% of the 5,800 wage slaves “associates” at Bessemer were black and brown, so this could have been a union “of colour”, to use the description currently fashionable.

According to The Guardian’s Michael Sainato, however, only 55% of the eligible votes were cast. Out of these, 1,798 voted against unionisation, 738 voted for unionisation, and 505 votes were challenged, therefore not counted.

Spokespeople for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the American union behind the failed initiative, have promised to fight the election.
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A narrative popular among the American Liberal/Leftish identitarians – often white men of middle class extraction, highly educated but little real life experience – is that the white working class kept workers of colour out of their unions, so that unionisation would only benefit whites. I see no need to comment on that.

Latham Sacked As Cooking Columnist Following Confusion Over Crushed Nuts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 09/04/2021 - 11:00am in

Cooking columnist Mark Latham has today been let go by The (un)Australian following some confusion over the term crushed nuts and an unfortunate incident involving an intern.

“It’s a bloody stitch up, the recipe said crush nuts so naturally I saw the intern and thought he’ll do and whacked him in the plums,” said Mr Latham. “Next thing you know they’re dragging me out of the kitchen and trying to throw me in a taxi.

“Jokes on them though as no taxi in Australia will have me as a customer.”

The (un)Australian said in a statement: “We regret that our relationship with Mark Latham has concluded. We knew going in that hiring him was a risk, however we also believe that everyone deserves a second or in his case 25th chance.

“We wish Mr Latham well in his future endeavours.”

No word yet on who will be replacing Mark Latham in his cooking column. Sportsbet is running a poll with odds on favourite being Alan Jones, followed by Graham Richardson, Gordon Ramsay and rank outsider Hannibal Lecter.

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Column: Mark Latham’s Guide To Being A Cook

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 09/04/2021 - 7:00am in

When those lefty freaks at The (un)Australian tweeted me to ask if I would write for them you could have knocked me over with a feather as I swore I’d blocked them.

But then I got to thinking, you know Mark the more people you reach the more people you can abuse. So I took a break from angrily tweeting random females on Twitter and pulled together a recipe for all you lefties to cook and hopefully choke on.

As a man you must be able to cook. Whether it’s for yourself or to pull a root. The days of ordering take away are over. Especially for me as I’m banned from using Uber eats after I challenged the driver to a fist fight.

One of my favourite dishes to cook and it’s somewhat of a specialty of mine is meat pie ala Latho. Now don’t panic this is not a complicated dish. First thing you need to do is pull the pie out of the freezer. Preferably grab a chunky beef variety, one that will really get up a vego lefty’s nose.

After getting it out of the freezer you then take the pie out of the plastic. This is a difficult step. Especially if like me you are not allowed to be around sharp objects. Personally I use my teeth.

Once out of the wrapping chuck it on a baking dish and throw it in the oven for about 20 minutes or whatever the packet says.

After it’s cooked take it out of the oven, now careful as the dish will be hot. Bung it on a plate and serve with sauce. Most prefer tomato but me I like a bit of  Worcestershire sauce as it gives it a nice taste of bitterness.

This dish should get you through the week and hopefully into the sack. Come back next week where I’ll teach you all how to cook with bile.

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Worker’s Mail (Updated)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/04/2021 - 4:56am in

Resistance Hero [A]
 
During the four Trump years, nothing beyond getting rid of the Pussy-Grabber in Chief mattered. So gazillionaire Jeff Bezos, owner of openly anti-Trump The Washington Post, became a hero of the identitarian Leftist Resistance (Ed B, that’s you, among others).

Conclusive proof that capitalists – especially the really filthy rich ones – are really top blokes/sheilas and a force for progress, the guy could do no wrong.

Now US President Joe Biden – the main beneficiary of Bezos’ journalism – seems to be repaying Bezos’ support … supporting the unionisation drive in the Amazon Bessemer warehouse (in Sweet Home Alabama). Strange, uh?


Bezos, understandably, has done all in his power to quash said drive. For example, he’s long instructed how to detect union formation and how to act in such emergencies. On top of that, lately he unleashed an army of fake “associates” defending Amazon on Twitter – aka “trolls”, quite like those who defended Trump.

Understandably as well, Bezos is mightily pissed off at Biden’s political interference. So he has instructed his minions executives to tweet like crazy not against the big fish in the pond – that is, Biden himself – but against the little fishes – Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Again, strange, yes?

But then, Biden’s ostensibly public pro-union stance since the election campaign is strangely contrasting with his own record: wasn’t he the one overseeing the General Motors/Chrysler bailout, during the GFC, including a 50% wage cut to new hires? That, without mentioning his less publicised private pro-corporate stance.

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The ABC’s Sarah Ferguson reported on that. Some quotes from that report.

Jeff Bezos:

“We have very good communications with our employees [as demonstrated by the fake tweets]. We don’t believe that we need a union to be an intermediary between us and our employees but, of course, at the end of the day, it is always the employees’ choice.”

Sounds a lot like what Peter Hartcher says about Aldi and unions, yes? Funny how Very Serious ™ commentators parrot thoughtlessly the talking points of bosses.

If you can, watch her report; otherwise the transcript is good, too.

Sarah Ferguson:

“Black Lives Matter activists have got behind the campaign and they care little for billionaire Jeff Bezos’s reputation as the country’s most prolific job creator.”

To which a black Amazon worker adds:

“So were slave masters, they were job creators. The slave masters were job creators but the slaves created the wealth.”

Does that mean that workers, but not the bosses, are the ones who create wealth now? Don't get me wrong. He's absolutely right and it’s to his credit he understands that.

But that’s not what identitarians say, is it?

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Amazon comrades, 

There are some lessons in that. The first one is that just because people look like you it doesn't mean they are on your side. White bosses and commentators aren't on the side of white workers. Female bosses and commentators aren't on the side of female workers either. Are you sure identitarians black bosses or commentators are on your side?

Remember something: “every class struggle is a political struggle”, as Marx said. To have a union is good and important, but it's just the beginning; unions are only as good as you make them. Push them hard to act on your behalf. It's time to put Biden’s “pro-union” stance to the test.

Good luck in your drive.

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I suppose Australian unions are less glamorous. Perhaps that’s why Aussie journos don’t pay them much attention.

But these Australian workers, away from media attention, are fighting as well:

“On 25 February 2021, McCormick Foods workers went on strike for a fair wage increase and are asking the community to support their strike.
“These workers have gone without a wage increase for five years. In recent negotiations their employer offered a 0% wage increase alongside threats to cut hard-won conditions.”

As I write this, 1,157 persons (yours truly included) donated. If you can chip in, please do so. More info below.

Update:

04/04/2021. Things that in other places are quickly done, in the US often take a long time. Over there, apparently counting the votes of some 6,000 workers could take days or even weeks. Joseph Pisani (AP/The Seattle Times) explains. Bloody yanks are good at complicating things, uh?

Image Credits: 

[A] “Jeff Bezos at Amazon Spheres Grand Opening in Seattle”. January 29, 2018. Author: Seattle City Council from Seattle. Source: WikiMedia. File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. My usage of the file does not suggest anyone endorses me or said usage.

Only in Australia.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/03/2021 - 7:59pm in

 
This says it all

source

Phillip Coorey’s scoop. Another victory for the sisterhood! Yay!

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Today in his presser, Scotty from Marketing was all teary-eyed, his voice breaking as he spoke of his family. Nobody seemed to believe him much -- with good reason, I’d say. Women protested safely, vented their anger. It was a cathartic exercise. They were heard, so now we can go back to business as usual. No need to take any action. Liberal democracy at its best.

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With the meritorious exception of Samantha Maiden, skepticism is nowhere to be found about this. Nobody here remembers the Karen meme anymore.I’m looking at you, ABC commentators (Insiders and 7.30 alike) and Labor pollies.

What’s with COALition pollies getting all emotional lately in front of the cameras?

PM Tells Female Politicians To Make Sure Their Desk Is Wearing A Chastity Belt

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/03/2021 - 7:44am in

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on female politicians from all parties to ensure that their desks are fitted with a functioning chastity belt.

”Doesn’t matter if you are Labor, Liberal or other I say to you please make sure your desk has a working chastity belt installed,” said Prime Minister Morrison. ”As we know and have learned recently, men have urges and as much as I’d like to stop them I can’t be everywhere all the time.”

”So, ladies, I am putting this one back on you.”

When asked why he felt the onus should be on the women to stop the men from offending, the Prime Minister said: ”I reject the premise of your question.”

”I am a father of two daughters, I don’t have a son mate.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to check in on Engadine Maccas to see if the cleaning staff have implemented the suggested preventative measures that I told them about.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

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BREAKING NEWS: Gutted IR Omnibus Bill Passes in Senate.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 18/03/2021 - 5:15pm in

(source)

A heavily amended IR Relations Bill just passed in the Senate, 35 votes (COALition, One Nation and Centre Alliance) to 33 (Labor, the Greens, Rex Patrick and Jacqui Lambie).

The Bill (minus the scrapping of the BOOT, which had been withdrawn earlier) still contained a number of measures intended to screw workers. As a sweetener, the COALition had included watered-down provisions to criminalise wage-theft … with a sting in the tail: if this was passed at Commonwealth level it would have superseded stronger state legislation already in application in QLD and VIC.

Faced with opposition to most of their measures (of all the anti-worker measures included, only the so-called anti-double-dipping provision was passed) the COALition decided to vote against their own sweetener (see above)!! So the COALition is giving green light to wage theft. Call me misogynistic as much as you like (I am looking at you both, Albo and Laura Tingle), but Michaelia Cash (acting Minister for Industrial Relations in charge of the Bill) is a mean, terrible, petty creature.

Senator Griff Stirling (Centre Alliance), who had called that “shameful and spiteful”, still voted for the Bill. Aussie pollies are something, uh?

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Because of all the amendments, the Bill will have to go back to the Lower House. I don’t know how Rebekha Sharkie, MP for Centre Alliance, will vote now, as she, unlike her colleague Stirling, had voted against the Bill.

A visibly upset Josh Frydenberg, in interview with Patricia Karvelas, threatens to double down on the bright idea of extra-long greenfields enterprise bargaining agreements without bargaining and without agreement.

You have to hand the COALition this: they really know what they stand for. As long as workers have a drop of blood in their veins, they will keep sucking.

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ACTU President Michele O’Neil and ACTU Secretary Sally McManus
address the media in Canberra (credit: ACTU)

Australian workers, like myself, are indebted to those whose efforts made this result, however qualified, possible. On my own behalf (although I am sure many others would agree) my sincere thanks to comrades Michele O’Neil and Sally McManus and all the folks at ACTU and all the unions who contributed to this.

Join your union. There is strength in union.

Scotty From Marketing Declares A Public Holiday for POETS Day Starting This Friday

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 18/03/2021 - 7:00am in

Australia’s Prime Minister Scotty from Marketing has announced to the nation that this Friday is officially POETS Day and to celebrate, it has been declared a public holiday with no one allowed to work – especially journalists.

”I’m a very big believer in POETS Day, and have been practicing it for years,” said Prime Minister Scotty. ”I mean who doesn’t love to Piss-Off-Early-as-Tomorrow’s Saturday?”

”Speaking of which, I might get an early start to POETS Day and beat the line up to Engadine Maccas.”

When asked why he was so averse to working on Fridays and dealing with the issues of the day, Prime Minister Scotty said: ”I reject the premise of your question.”

”I am one of this country’s hardest working politicians! I mean, last week I almost worked 32 hours!”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to head off and beat the 10am traffic out of town.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

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