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Black Letter Day

In a blow to existing services in regional Victoria and New South Wales Australia Post yesterday confirmed that next day delivery services provided for over 30 years would be slashed.

Senior Executives had described next day delivery in a number of regional areas as “over-servicing the customer”. Such language is an alarming example of a culture change within the organisation driven by the CEO Ahmed Fahour.

Your National Office and the Victorian Branch had lobbied against the changes and this led to a boycott of Assistant National Secretary, Martin O’Nea and Victorian Branch Secretary, Joan Doyle by Australia Post.

Your union will continue to fight ANY reductions in services and any moves by the bean counters to undermine the traditional mail services. They are damaging the brand and the long term interests of members and they must be held to account.

We will continue to campaign to have the slashed services restored in regional Victoria and New South Wales.

(Caption: Rally approaches Parliament House up Bourke St)
Posted: 18 February 2014

Union / Community Protest Over Napthine Anti-democratic laws - A Big Success!

By Brian Boyd, Victorian Trades Hall Council  Secretary

Today, nearly 4000 unionists and community activists marched on the Victorian State Parliament to protest over proposed draconian anti-protest laws.

After assembling at Melbourne Trades Hall Carlton, the protest marched through the city led by ambulance paramedics.  The rally was M.C.’ed by VTHC Campaigns and Industrial Officer Luke Hilakari.

Speakers included:

Brian Boyd – VTHC Secretary

Kevin Bracken – MUA Secretary

Father Bob Maguire

Anna Brown - Director of Advocacy and Strategic Litigation, Human Rights Law Centre

Sue Pennicuik – Greens MLC

Morgyn McCarthy – Paramedic Delegate

The proposed amendments to the Summary Offences Act 1966 are aimed at increasing the already large arsenal of powers the police have in terms of political protests.

There will be new powers to “move on” people from protests, pickets and rallies.

There also will be a new power to impose “exclusion orders” on selected participants of protests from coming within a certain distance of a rally or picket line. Failure to obey such orders can attract a 2 year jail sentence.

Currently there are at least some protections in place around the right protest. The new laws virtually remove all of these protections.

It was stated by a number of speakers that this was an important issue, especially in an election year. It was agreed the campaign would continue to oppose these new laws and, if passed, to see them repealed at the earliest opportunity.

Attack on Rights linked to conservative’s restructuring of the economy

The VTHC, along with a number of community and civil rights organisations, conducted the first big union rally for 2014 on Tuesday 18 February 2014.

The issue of concern is a major one for the union movement and working people in general. The Victorian Napthine government is ramming through harsh and draconian amendments to the Summary Offences Act 1966. The aim of the new laws is to further restrict the ability of workers and the wider community to protest over industrial issues or growing concerns regarding numerous unpopular government policies.

It is a sad day for the great State of Victoria that in 2014 it has come to a situation where unions and the community have to organise a protest to protect the right to protest!

Eureka to Bolte

Victoria of course was the place where the famous Eureka Stockade rebellion took place back in 1854. The key grievance back then was over the lack of democratic rights.

Fast forward to the 1960’s when the arch-conservative predecessor of Premier Napthine, Henry Bolte was running Victoria. Bolte introduced the original Summary Offences Act. It too was aimed at unions and social dissent. At the time, a number of unions were fighting against the harsh penal powers contained in the then federal IR laws. Unions were being fined thousands of dollars over basic industrial disputes. (In 1969 this issue came to a head with the gaoling of Tramways Union leader Clarrie O’Shea).

In the wider community there was growing opposition to the Vietnam War. Bolte used his Summary Offences Act to try to break-up these disputes and protests. If more than 2 people (i.e. 3!) met at the Melbourne City Square to hand out a leaflet, for example, they were arrested! By the early 70s the law fell out of use because of how much hostility it caused.


Now nearly 50 years later Dr Napthine wants to resurrect such laws and more.

We are seeing the Federal Abbott government embarking on a massive attack on the union movement. At the same time the conservative politicians, in league with big business and multinational corporations, are moving to re-shape the nation’s economy.  This economic shake-up is already in train with hundreds of jobs being lost every day and tens of thousands of jobs scrapped since 2013. Manufacturing is being hit hard but so are other key sectors of the economy. We are told there is “more bad news to come”. The politicians know that social discontent occurs when the unemployment rate rises, especially when there is no prospect of getting a new job.

Many government policies are causing concern and angst. Planning issues, environmental issues, public transport issues, education and health issues are all negatively impacting in the community.

All of this leads to people wanting to protest, to air their grievances.

While massive profits are sent overseas and corporate tax liabilities are avoided, basic social services are cut or reduced at the same time.

Dr Napthine is gearing up his “law and order” machine for the backlash. In league with Tony Abbott and his other states counterparts (e.g. in NSW, QLD and WA) a range of anti-democratic laws are being put forward and enacted.

This will be an important fight to win.

HANDS OFF Aussie Post
Help Stop the Sale of Aussie Post Say NO to the reduction of your services           Click on Pic to Go to the Website 

The same community member defending the postal service in 1998 and still doing it yesterday - Anne is the one in the pink-ribboned hat.

Geelong Rally 'Hands Off Aussie Post Campaign' with (ACTU Secretary) Ged Kearney and local member Richard Marles on 3 February 2014.


1. Star Track Express workers gifted $250
2. Price on daily delivery draws ire of CWU
3.CWU says no to privatisation
4. Post try it on again
5. Another Post try on
6. Time for implementing the OHS agreement
7. Keep Australia Post in hands of the public
8. Abbott government set to broaden attack on wages and conditions
9. Richest 85 boast same wealth as half the world

Friday 7th February 2014

1. Telstra to outsource more network functions
2. CWU meets with Telstra on Sensis sale
3. Award moderisation update
4. OHS: Dexbond sealant still an issue for Telstra
5. CWU meets wit Visionstream on new EA
6. Optus wins NBN satelite contract
7. NBN rates at 1980s levels say contractors
8. Abbott government set to broaden attack on wages and conditions
9. The meaning of the SPC decision

Friday 7th February 2014

1. Black Letter Day
2. Hands off Aussie Post HOAP
3. Australia Post response on Star Track Christmas Bonus
4. NSW delivery resurrect clear floor policy as Service Performance Standards drop below 94%
5. NSW relief Posties start on 15% penalty shift
6. ACCC green light to stamp price increase
7. Brazil Post and Poste Italiane to Launch joint mobile phone business
8. Abbott wanted pay cuts of up to 40% at SPC
9. Wages growth at all time low

Friday 21 February 2014

1. Sensis moves to cut 800 jobs
2. CWU meets with Telstra on operations outsourcing
3. Unions call for national action on ICT skills drain
4. Mobiles key to Telstra's strong half-yearly results
5. Telstra's Asian Century and Australian jobs
6. Telstra sheds 163 jobs in retail shop sales
7. iiNet reports subscriber, profit growth
8. Abbott wanted pay cuts of up to 40% at SPC
9. Wages growth at all time low

Friday 21 February 2014