Labor

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NSW Declared Most Livable State For Those Named John Barilaro

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 01/07/2022 - 8:00am in

Free Loader magazine has this week declared that the Australian state of NSW is the most livable state in the World for those with the name John Barilaro.

”If you are named John Barilaro then the state of NSW is the place to be,” declared Free Loader journalist Fee Lunch. ”I mean where else can a man prone to temper tantrums and no real qualifications waltz their way to deputy Premier and when that fails get offered a plum job in New York.”

”Sure, the New York thing fell through but you know something else will pop up soon for John. No need for him to ICAC himself.”

When asked why the likes of Barilaro seemingly had things handed to them on a silver platter, Free Loader journalist Fee Lunch said: ”Some are born with luck and others just happen to have a collection of compromising photos that help them get what they want.”

”Not sure which of the above describes John but I do know that he is an avid photographer.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and meet with my publishers to try and find space in the magazine for a new column to be penned by John Barilaro.”

”Hopefully this will tide him over till a new position can be made up for him by Perrotet.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

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Meeting the Moment in Philadelphia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 29/06/2022 - 10:10pm in

Grassroots union drives and America’s largest labor federation collide in Philly.

Greens Fume After Albo Refuses To Fund Their Weekly Drum Circle

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 29/06/2022 - 7:00am in

The Greens have today released an angry press release condemning Prime Minister Anthony Albanese after the PM refused to fund the parties weekly drum circle.

”How does Anthony expect us to get anything done without our weekly drum circle?” Asked Greens leader Adam Bandt. ”Parliament is a very stressful place and our weekly drum circle is very conducive to helping us not only cope but thrive.”

”Some of our best ideas have come out of the drum circle.”

When asked why the Greens felt they deserved special treatment like extra advisors and a drum circle, the Greens leader said: ”We are a very special party, don’t believe us just ask our Mums.”

”Unlike the Liberals we don’t rort, we just enjoy the perks of being on the public teat.”

”And let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things a drum circle is not a lot of money. It’s not like it’s a car park or a shooting range in Dubbo.”

‘Now, if you’ll excuse me, Fuente our lead drummer in the circle has agreed to hold this week’s circle at a discount rate. I need to go and ask Albo if he”ll spot me $50 to cover it.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter @TheUnOz or like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/theunoz.

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Labor falls short on cost of living and climate action—step up the fight for change

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/06/2022 - 9:37pm in

Tags 

Australia, Labor

Anthony Albanese has spent his first month as Prime Minister emphasising change. He posed for photos with the Nadesalingam family after the new government allowed them to go home to Biloela. He officially submitted new climate targets under the global agreement with the UN. And he celebrated the minimum wage decision that saw a 5.2 per cent increase for the lowest paid workers.

But Labor is still offering far too little change. The Nadeslingam family have not received permanent visas—despite the fact the new Immigration Minister could grant them with the stroke of a pen.

The minimum wage decision comes just as cost-of-living pressures are escalating. Yet Labor has made it clear there will be no further relief from the government. Treasurer Jim Chalmers has said Labor will deliver its election promises but nothing more.

Official estimates are that inflation will hit 7 per cent by December. Gas and power prices are set to surge as profit-hungry power bosses rort the energy market. The Reserve Bank has already hiked interest rates a further 0.5 per cent since the election and Governor Philip Lowe says there are more to come, increasing average home loan payments by up to $1000 a month by the end of next year.

Instead, the new government has begun emphasising the “dire” state of the budget, with Chalmers saying, “There’s not a bottomless pit of Commonwealth cash to solve everything.”

Despite the cost-of-living crisis the poverty-level JobSeeker payments are not being increased and Labor’s boost to childcare funding won’t kick in until July next year.

The money to pay for it is there, but Labor has ruled out even modest efforts to tax the rich, refusing to introduce a windfall tax on the bumper profits gas exporters are raking in from surging gas prices—something even the British Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson has done.

Under the hopeless Petroleum Resource Rent Tax, 27 gas companies earned $77 billion in revenue between them last year without paying any tax at all.

Strike for a pay rise

Most workers are still seeing their wages go backwards. Those on award wages will get just 4.6 per cent this year—a wage cut after inflation. Public sector workers, including nurses, teachers and transport workers, hailed as heroes of the pandemic, are facing insultingly low wage offers.

The Labor government in Victoria is giving public sector workers just 1.5 per cent. WA’s Labor government is paying 2.75 per cent.

Public sector workers in NSW are fighting the state Liberal government over its wage cap. Premier Dominic Perrottet set the cap at just 3 per cent in his June budget. Public servants in the PSA are the latest to stage a 24-hour strike, after nurses’ and teachers’ strikes earlier this year.

NSW unions are now talking about the possibility of public sector wide strike action. Nurses are set to strike for up to 24 hours on 28 June and state and Catholic school teachers will strike together on 30 June to break Perrottet’s pay cap. This is the kind of action that’s needed. No worker should be getting a pay rise that’s below inflation.

ACTU president Sally McManus admits that enterprise bargaining has failed and has locked in wage cuts. What’s needed is a cross-union industrial campaign to fight for cost of living increases for all.

Climate action

Labor’s efforts on climate also need to go much further. It plans to legislate a target of 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 that is lower than the Business Council’s recommendation, the teal independents’ 60 per cent, and the Climate Council’s figure of 75 per cent backed by The Greens.

Instead of working to reduce the use of gas, Labor is backing a dangerous gas expansion that puts fossil fuel profits ahead of climate action.

Resources Minister Madeleine King declared Labor’s “absolute” support for the huge, climate-wrecking Scarborough gas project off WA as well as Santos’ Pilliga project at Narrabri.

The Financial Review has revealed that Labor met mining company bosses before the election to quietly reassure them it “understood” their “importance to the Australian economy”. But the fossil fuel bosses can’t be trusted. The profit-hungry bosses have plunged the power industry into crisis. Labor should nationalise the grid.

The climate movement should not go quiet for Labor. It is going to take a fight to force Labor to end the Liberals’ gas expansion policy.

The election was a clear vote for climate action. More radical action is needed to demand that Labor funds public renewables and to win a just transition for workers in the fossil fuel industry.

The election result showed a hunger for change. But struggle outside of parliament will be needed to win that change. Over the cost of living, wages, climate action or refugees, we will need more strikes and protests. Join us to help build that fight.

The post Labor falls short on cost of living and climate action—step up the fight for change appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Behind the election win, Labor is in deep decline

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/06/2022 - 9:36pm in

Tags 

Latest News, Labor

On election night, Labor’s Tanya Plibersek declared: “A win is a win is a win.” But the ALP’s victory could not disguise the fact that the party received its lowest first-preference vote since 1934, at just 32.58 per cent.

In the elections of 1931 and 1934, workers punished Labor under James Scullin for cutting wages and the dole while in office after the 1929 Wall Street Crash.

But if the votes of the 1930s Labor split led by Jack Lang are included in the ALP column, Albanese’s vote share today was worse—the worst since 1903, when Labor was still a new party.

When the 1930s Depression began to lift, the ALP’s vote rebounded. But modern Labor’s vote has been in steady overall decline for 40 years.

In 1951, almost 98 per cent of votes went to the two major parties. In May, the vote for minor parties and independents reached a record 33.68 per cent.

That figure hides a polarisation, with 12.25 per cent going to the Greens on the left and 10.82 per cent going to the United Australia Party, One Nation and the Liberal Democrats on the right.

Educated

So why is Labor’s vote falling? Some commentators argue that it reflects a permanent decline in Labor’s voting base, with people becoming better off.

But while the biggest swings against the Coalition were in wealthy seats, these were mostly won by teal independents and Greens, not Labor.

An opinion poll involving 19,000 voters showed a clear wealth divide between Labor and Coalition supporters.

Home-owners on $150,000 a year or more voted 44 per cent for the Coalition and 31 per cent for Labor. Those on $50,000 a year or less who did not own homes voted 40 per cent for Labor and just 16 per cent for the Coalition.

Given falling real wages, eye-watering petrol and food prices and rising mortgage repayments, why didn’t Labor get a bigger vote?

The answer lies in the fact that Labor has presided over attacks on working class living standards since 1983, when Bob Hawke stormed to victory with almost half of all first-preference votes.

Hawke and his successor as Prime Minister, Paul Keating, embraced a new phase in capitalism that we now call neoliberalism.

Falling rates of profit led leaders as diverse as Hawke, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan to launch attacks on the welfare state, union organisation, wages and public ownership.

In Australia, the attack took the form of the Prices and Incomes Accord with the union movement. Committed to the deal, unions leaders stood by while real wages fell and Labor smashed the militant Builders Labourers Federation and the pilots’ union.

The Accord put a brake on strikes. Union membership fell as manufacturing declined and utilities were privatised, leading to job losses.

In the 1970s, white-collar workers like teachers had adopted militant tactics and built union numbers. But from the 1980s onwards, new groups of workers in IT, retail and hospitality weren’t inspired to join unions that didn’t fight.

The fall in industrial action and union membership chopped away at Labor’s organised base.

Labor’s attacks paved the way for 11 years of Liberal rule under John Howard.

The Labor governments that followed, led by Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, did not reverse the damage.

Eroded

The share of national production going to workers is now at the lowest level since 1959.

But the experience of 40 years of Labor means that workers’ trust that an ALP government will improve their lives has been sharply eroded.

That’s what lies behind the sharp swings away from the ALP in safe seats. It is not that workers have become more affluent and shifted to the Liberals—it’s that they’re worse off but cynical about Labor’s ability to bring change.

In Victoria, this was compounded by disgust at state Labor’s authoritarian pandemic response, leading to swings against the ALP such as 14 per cent in Scullin and 10 per cent in Holt.

Does all this mean Labor is condemned to just dwindle away like equivalent social democratic parties in France and Greece, which have been reduced to rumps?

It’s unlikely. The ALP still has a solid base among union officials and their bureaucratic machines that provides it with a safety net of funding and activists.

Labor will survive—but is unlikely to ever command the support of a majority of workers again. Meanwhile, if workers want to improve their living standards, it will need a fighting response of strikes and protests.

By David Glanz

The post Behind the election win, Labor is in deep decline appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Greens Demand Australia Be Renamed As The “Us” In Australia Is Offensive To The Chronically Single

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/06/2022 - 7:00am in

Greens Leader Adam Bandt has called upon the Prime Minister to rename the country as the use of “us” in Australia could be offensive to the chronically single.

”For too long, this country’s single people have been left behind,” said Brandt. ”I can’t even imagine the pain and suffering they have had to endure every time they have the “us” in Australia foisted upon them.”

”Why hasn’t Anthony Albanese acted upon this vital issue yet?”

When asked if he seriously believed that this was the most pressing issue facing the country at the moment, the Member for Melbourne said: ”It was a huge conversation topic last week at my book club gathering.”

”Poor Tarquin was inconsolable after someone dared use the ‘A word’.”

”Australians need to learn to respect and adhere to my inner-city electorate’s demands.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I overheard a garbage collector address a person on the street by a female pronoun. I have to stop them and poimt out how wrong and destructive they are being by assuming someone’s gender.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter @TheUnOz or like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/theunoz.

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Dutton Shocked That Most People Don’t Consider Puppy Strangling A Hobby

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/06/2022 - 7:00am in

Opposition leader Peter Dutton (yep, really) has expressed shock to his advisors after they told him that the general public wasn’t as into puppy strangling as a hobby as he was.

”Peter is still getting used to being the front man of the band so to speak,” said an Advisor to the Dark Lord. ”At the moment we are just knocking off a few rough edges to getting him somewhere near electable.”

”Or, if that’s too much of a stretch then we’ll settle with him being able to walk down the street without young children screaming in fear.”

When asked if they seriously believed that Peter Dutton would honestly ever be considered by the Public as Prime Minister, the Government Advisor said: ”Well who else do we have?”

”Angus Taylor? I’m sure Labor would be ICAC ing their dacks at the thought of facing Angus at an election.”

”Look, we’ll get Peter across the line one way or another. Heck, who knows maybe by the next election puppy strangling will take off as the new hip fad.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go to the pound and stock on puppies for the Dark Lord, he’s always in such a good mood after he’s strangled a couple.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter @TheUnOz or like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/theunoz.

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Cartoon: Housing crisis made E-Z

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 14/06/2022 - 9:50pm in

This particular doom spiral, which once seemed relegated to a handful of hip cities and resort towns, has seemingly spilled over into just about anyplace you'd want to live now. I don't mean to pin personal blame on particular kinds of workers, but the widening gap between jobs that can cover the cost of living and those that don't. (I realize not all realtors make tons of money!) The ultimate irony of this dysfunctional system is that eventually the "essential" workers disappear, leading the obliviously wealthy to lament that poor people are "lazy" and don't want to work anymore.

Support these comics by joining the Sorensen Subscription Service! Also on Patreon.

Follow me on Twitter at @JenSorensen

Powell Lets Wall Street Pay Skyrocket While Targeting Workers’ Wages

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 14/06/2022 - 8:31pm in

Powell Lets Wall Street Pay Skyrocket While Targeting Workers’ Wages

While former private equity executive and Federal Reserve Bank Chair Jerome Powell takes aim at workers with a pledge to “get wages down” to combat inflation, he has declined to implement a law to reduce the skyrocketing paychecks of his former colleagues on Wall Street. He has also approved and financed a merger wave that critics say has inflated the cost of consumer financial services.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law mandated the creation of a rule to rein in Wall Street bonuses. The rule is supposed to be developed and implemented by six regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve that Powell runs.

Tip Jar

But as he has sounded the alarm about inflation and wages, Powell has so far has done nothing to help create that rule, even as Wall Street bonuses just hit an all-time record at $45 billion in a single year.

The Fed did not respond to a request for comment from The Lever.

“Excessive Compensation, Fees, Or Benefits”

Dodd-Frank mandates that a Wall Street compensation rule require banks to ensure that their executive compensation packages do not incentivize risky behavior, such as risky lending to hedge funds like Archegos Capital Management, which collapsed in March 2021 under the weight of hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from major banks like Goldman Sachs.

The law said the Fed and other agencies must craft a rule requiring banks to limit “inappropriate risks” that come with providing executives with “excessive compensation, fees, or benefits.”

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In 2016, five years after it was supposed to be completed, the Obama administration finally proposed such a rule — but the proposal was quickly blocked by the Trump administration.

At the time, Wall Street let its opposition to a robust rule be known. Before President Donald Trump deep-sixed it in 2017, Marc Trevino, a partner at Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, told the Wall Street Journal that an expansive version of the rule would be “unfortunate and counterproductive.”

This past February, Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, promised “to implement the law.”

Bloom Raskin withdrew her nomination amid opposition from corporatist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and every Republican senator.

Powell’s Focus On A Painful Path

In response to rising inflation, Powell could crack down on Wall Street bonuses, call for the repeal of Trump tax cuts for the wealthy, demand the closure of the private equity tax loophole, or use the Fed’s power to block bank mergers.

Instead, Powell’s anti-inflation campaign has focused on raising interest rates to reduce the money supply — a policy that tends to increase unemployment and put downward pressure on rank-and-file workers’ wages.

The result is a much higher degree of misery for ordinary Americans, while the overall purchasing power of the country is reduced.

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Powell and the senior Fed leadership have little connection to that suffering.

Powell was a senior executive at the Carlyle Group for much of his career, and his financial disclosures show an enormous investment portfolio worth up to $55 million.

For much of last year, the Fed was consumed with a scandal in which Powell’s vice chair, as well as the heads of the Dallas and Boston Federal Reserve banks, were found to have engaged in insider trading.

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California Stars

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 13/06/2022 - 10:59pm in

Tags 

Politics, Labor, union

Pole workers unite in North Hollywood.

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