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John Passant

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May 2012
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If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)



Return the right to strike

The Australian Labor Government’s wrongly named “Fair Work Act”, retains the same repression of legitimate industrial action as former Prime Minister John Howard. Also, the new Competition and Consumer Act maintains laws against solidarity strikes and secondary boycotts.

While laws restrict the right of workers to take industrial action (stop work and bans), employers such as Qantas, Baiada, Schweppes, Toyota and Sigma can lock out workers or cut jobs and escape any penalty.

The right to withdraw our labour is basic to defending wages and conditions, otherwise we will be powerless. As the global economic and environmental crises worsen, we will have to defend jobs against industry closures and to ensure a just transition to economically viable and ecologically safe industries. We also have to stop attacks on our social services and welfare, public health, education and halt further privatisation of essential community assets.

At a minimum, commonly accepted International Labour Oganization (ILO) principles as required protecting the right to strike are to be implemented.

Sign the petition.



Pingback from Return the right to strike | #ausunions via En Passant ยป @johnpassant | The Left Hack
Time May 29, 2012 at 8:03 am

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Comment from Lorikeet
Time May 29, 2012 at 9:56 am

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. Let’s also have a return to compulsory unionism.

Everyone should write to the papers and demand that Centrelink is empowered to immediately send strapping young Australian dole bludgers to work in the mines, and ensure that all Aussies have access to full or part-time work, according to their needs.

A big raspberry to miners importing foreign labour, and employers who want to import $138,000 migrants to work in the service industries instead of employing locals.

Comment from John
Time May 29, 2012 at 11:11 am

Good suggestion. Unfortunately we have never had state backed compulsory unionism. The working class might be better off. But I’d prefer unions taking strike action to win better wages, conditions and defend jobs and that way gain members.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time May 31, 2012 at 8:43 am

Putting the cart before the horse never worked for anyone.,

A union is only as strong as the number of members it has on its books. If you don’t join a union, pay your dues and engage in solidarity, better wages and working conditions will never be won.

When there are insufficient people marching to the beat of the same angry drum, there is also less money in the kitty to challenge workplace abuses in the courts.

Providing a glut of workers and then making unionism non-compulsory has progressively hammered the unions for 30-35 years.

Comment from Kay
Time June 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm


I object to being forced to join any organisation! If an organisation can’t attract members, it needs to rethink its policies/ideas!

It is my experience (as a former workplace union delegate) that members who are forced to join are resentful and ‘not worth a cracker’ when it is time to strike or take other action. It is also my experience that union membership sharply increases when the working conditions deteriorate, or workers start to be laid off. The members gained because they believe the union is the only organisation which can help them, are far more prepared to take action to defend workers’ rights.

Compulsory unionism is an assault on individual freedoms and is morally wrong in my view.