President Park: stop attacking Korean workers!An attack on the rights of Korean truck drivers is an attack on the rights of truck drivers here in Australia and across the world. Australia and other countries have signed so-called free trade deals with South Korea which mean the low standards and oppression Koreans face today could be ours tomorrow. We must show the President that workers from all over the world are ready and willing to stand behind our colleagues in Korea and support safe and fair workplaces.
South Korea: end the attack on workers now!Workers have been beaten and attacked by police during peaceful demonstrations, leaving one man dead. Over 20 union activists have been jailed, with raids on transport unions and the teachers' union deregistered. Yet workers and their unions remain steadfast in their fight for justice and are currently holding strikes.
Trade justice for Pacific Island nationsAustralia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Countries are currently negotiating a regional free trade agreement: PACER Plus. The PACER+ is another in a line of secret trade agreements that push a trade liberalisation agenda and promote the rights of corporations over people. Australian Unions have come together against CHAFTA and the TPP to call for trade deals that are balanced, support jobs, protect the rights of working people and promote a healthy environment. The PACER+ agreement will disproportionately affect Pacific Island nations. It will: - Give unprecedented rights to corporations Pacific governments will face restrictions on their regulation of foreign businesses. They will not be able to regulate to keep prices low, or ensure that services are available to everyone in the community. - Undermine access to essential services PACER+ will require Pacific countries to 'list' service sectors (including health, education, and water), allowing Australian and NZ companies to compete to provide these services in the Pacific. This will undermine access to services (especially for vulnerable people, like the unemployed or the rural poor) - Lead to a loss in public services like health and education PACER+ is calling on Pacific nations to drop tariffs on imported goods. This will result in a significant loss of government revenue - up to 19% in Tonga, 18% in Vanuatu, and 12% in Samoa. This loss in revenue is more than their total health or education budgets. - Lead to business closures and job losses Remoteness, small economies of scale and lack of human resources make it difficult for Pacific businesses to engage in global markets. Opening Pacific markets up to Australian and New Zealand corporations may wipe out Pacific businesses due difficulties in competing with their cheaper prices. - Undermine indigenous rights to land Land is central to indigenous people's spiritual and economic life. The removal of restrictions on ownership of land by foreign companies and investors will impact on Pacific communities' ability to determine their own economic future. (Source: Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA)
Pay your workers a living wage!The article in Fairfax was shocking. Kmart and Target should know better than to source their products from factories where workers are exploited. Many workers in these factories are paid less in a week than Australians earn an hour. These big companies make massive profits and need to know that Australians won't accept these dodgy practices. It's these sort of dodgy practices that meant over 1,000 workers died when a clothing factory called Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh. For more information check out the article in Fairfax: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/target-and-kmart-sell-2-school-uniforms-but-at-what-cost-20160112-gm4n1y.html
Demand an Inquiry into Lost Oil and Gas Tax IncomeAustralia is essentially giving away its offshore oil and gas to multinational corporations for free. Stunning media reports have revealed that the primary tax on oil and gas (the "PRRT") is projected to fail to collect any meaningful income despite Australia becoming the world's largest gas exporter . Lost tax income means lost opportunities to properly fund schools, hospitals and childcare centres; boost Newstart back above the poverty line; and build critical infrastructure for the 21st Century. The Tax Justice Network, in partnership with over 20 civil society organisations including ACOSS, the ACTU and leading environment groups, is calling on the Australian Parliament to hold an Inquiry into the failure of the PRRT to collect meaningful income, and to ensure that the Australian people benefit fairly from the exploitation of our own natural resources. References:  http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-government-called-on-to-explain-where-australias-offshore-gas-wealth-is-going-20161009-gryaoi.html