Category: Australian Workers Union

NSWisconsin

by Kimberley Ramplin

In previous posts on the state on NSW politics, I largely focused on what I knew best – the decade I had spent as a Labor staffer.  Today, I turn my attention to the O’Farrell government, because today, my worst fears about the crushing victory Premier Barry O’Farrell secured in March 2011 have been realised.

For the first time since the early 1900s, a NSW Government has used a guillotine motion to effectively gag debate in the Legislative Council (Upper House) on its reforms to public sector wage increases.

The Premier claims, in a facile, lazy way that he is being allowed to get away with by all in the press gallery, bar the ABC’s Quentin Dempster, that he is simply following Labor’s public sector wages policy. This is not true.

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“Economic Democracy: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Again?”

By Richard Hyman

‘There can be no return to business as usual’: this was the unanimous trade union response to the global crisis. For a time in early 2009, the legitimacy of capitalism was itself questioned in unexpected quarters. In May 2009 the German union confederation, the Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, organised a ‘Capitalism Congress’ – using language which for decades would have been taboo – and its president warned of unrest on the streets unless jobs were more effectively safeguarded. One of its leaders, Claus Matecki, insisted that it was important to talk of capitalism rather than using the conventional but bland term soziale Marktwirtschaft (social market economy), since only thus could trade unionists make clear that the existing economic order was historically contingent and founded on a fundamental inequality between workers and employers.[1] Yet there was no follow-up.

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