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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)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



The Passant Portfolio – when workers walk

Workers around the world are fighting back against the bosses’ attacks on them.

Every week (if not more regularly) I will publish examples from around the world of workers taking industrial action to defend jobs, wages and public services.

If you have any information on strikes, occupations or demonstrations let me  know. Send in the details of workers in struggle from anywhere in the world and I will post them in The Passant Portfolio.

Knowing that workers around the world are fighting back can inspire us all. We are not alone.


Waterford Crystal workers have occupied their factory, demanding the Government nationalise the company.

Last week 120,000 workers demonstrated against the Government’s economic policies.  Waterford Crystal workers led the demonstration.

Irish unions are discussing a general strike later this month. 

Workers at industrial diamond manufacturer Element Six in Shannon occupied their plant last week. Within hours the company agreed to defer the introduction of short time hours and enter into negotiations. (From Socialist Worker UK).


Millions of workers joined a general strike in late January which had the support of the vast majority of French people. 

The most popular Opposition politician is Olivier Besancenot from the New Anti-Capitalist Party.  Olivier is a trotskyist with politics very similar to mine.  (For more information see Socialist Worker UK or Sam Wainwright in Links, the International Journal of Socialist Renewal.)

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, has been trying to buy off discontent by throwing money at workers, pensioners and the like.  It hasn’t worked.

Two days ago workers shut down the French education system.  Sarkozy has now gone quiet on education ‘reform’.

There will be another general strike on 19 March.


Guadeloupe is an overseas Department (ie part) of France. It is in the Caribbean. This is part of what Aljazeera reported recently in an article called Sarkozy pledges cash for Guadeloupe:

Month-long strikes over pay and the cost of living have escalated into violence in Guadeloupe, one of four overseas “departments” or regions that are full parts of the European Union.

Strikers are demanding a raise of $250 a month for low-wage workers who now make about $1,130 a month.

But underlying much of the unrest in Guadeloupe and nearby Martinique is anger within the local Afro-Caribbean community – many of whom are descendants of slaves brought to the island by France – that the vast majority of wealth and land remain in the hands of colonist descendants.

Police reinforcements

Concern is growing that the protests could spread to mainland France, where up to 2.5 million people went on strike last month against the government’s economic policies.


There was a general strike in December.  There have been ongoing demonstrations and riots since. Public servants will strike in March.



Mass demonstrations saw the Government fall.  A left wing social democratic Government has taken power.


Mass demonstrations saw the Government fall. 


 Mass demonstrations threaten the hold of the Government on power.


Pacific Brands sacked 1850 workers to move offshore.  Major unions have banned transporting any Pacific Brands equipment out of the country.

 Hong Kong

 Hundreds of PCCW telecom workers took to the streets protesting against proposed wage cuts of ten percent and possible job losses.  (Telstra, Australia’s major telecom company, had a strategic partnership with PCCW).


Mass demonstrations against the Israeli invasion of Gaza have threatened the Mubarak regime, which has responded with repression. Food price and cost of living strikes in 2007 and 2008 have revived the Egyptian workers’ movement.


Thousands of workers strike against the use of foreign workers.  This is a  dangerous racist and reactionary development.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) and a number of other campaign groups have called a protest for Saturday 28 March to tell world leaders coming to a G20 meeting in London to “Put People First” as the recession bites. (From Socialist Worker UK.)


Let me quote Liz Walsh from her article Growing rebellion shakes world rulers in this February’s Socialist Alternative:

Along China’s coastal economic zone, there are reports of workers storming government buildings after factories closed without paying wages. In southern China, to protest against a pay cut imposed by managers, hundreds of workers blockaded a highway. In the southern province of Guangdong, striking textile workers fought pitched battles with security guards. In northern China 6,000 workers occupied a textile mill.

The situation is set to become more explosive as millions of rural migrant workers return to the cities after celebrating the Chinese New Year, to find they are out of work. It is estimated that 25 million migrant labourers will be jobless this year. Adding to the flammable tinder are the tens of thousands of university graduates without any job opportunities. We should expect many more struggles to rock China in the near future.

A plea

There will be many many more examples.  If you know of any industrial action going on anywhere in the world, let us all know.  Send a short description by commenting on this piece.  I’ll collate them and put a new Passant Portfolio up soon.  Clarifications, corrections and other comments on what I have put in here are also most welcome.


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