Wednesday, January 31, 2018

ACTU targets delivery apps, warning that poverty is not an innovation

31 January 2018

ACTU secretary Sally McManus has warned dodgy operators of food delivery services that they are in the Australian union movement’s sights as a survey of bike couriers reveals that three quarters of them are paid less than the legal minimum wage.

The survey of bicycle couriers, conducted by the Transport Workers Union, found that 75 percent of respondents were paid below the legal minimum for bike couriers, which under the Road Transport and Distribution Award is $24.21 per hour for casuals, not including allowances, superannuation or penalty rates.

More than half of the 160 riders surveyed knew someone who had been injured while doing bike deliveries, or had themselves been injured.

More than quarter of respondents worked full time hours or greater, and 70 percent said they should be entitled to sick leave.

Quotes attributable to Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary:

  • “Poverty is not an innovation. The callous and regressive actions of companies like Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Foodora, who illegitimately classify bike couriers as independent contractors, belong in the Victorian age. They have no place in Australia in 2018.” 
  • “The rules that are supposed to protect people from being exploited and underpaid at work are broken. They have failed to protect bicycle couriers, who ride in dangerous conditions, for illegally low wages, without any protection against injury or illness.”
  • “Our lawmakers must change the rules that govern our lives at work – it is clear that they are not adequate. If the Turnbull government does not legislate to ensure that delivery riders – and all working Australians –have safe, secure jobs they will be voted out and replaced with a government that will.
  • “I encourage anyone who has been treated in this manner to contact the Transport Workers Union for a confidential discussion.”  

Transport Workers Union Survey Results

On Demand Workers Australia Facebook


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Turnbull Government Turns on the Environmental Movement

The Abbott government initially launched a failed attempt to amend national environmental laws so green groups based outside the immediately affected area would no longer have the right to challenge development decisions in court. That right had been used to overturn several flawed government approvals – for example, allowing logging in Tasmania’s Wielangta forest without considering the cumulative impact on three threatened species across a wider area. The plan to abolish it failed to pass the Senate.

The government then wanted to limit the right to receive tax deductible donations – a significant source of revenue – to environment groups that dedicated at least 25% of spending to “practical” work in the community. That plan was dropped in December when industry support evaporated. It has been replaced with a new push announced under the banner of outlawing foreign donations, but that actually goes much further.

Legal advice seen by Guardian Australia suggests it is likely to require groups to tally how much they spend in time and resources on submissions or evidence given to parliamentary inquiries, any communication with a United Nations body, any opinion expressed about a political party. If it is more than $100,000 they would be branded a “political organisation”, rather than members of civil society.

Registered charities – including most environment groups – would need to set up separate bank accounts for money to be spent on political advocacy and direct environmental works, and report the political party membership of senior staff. All groups would be required to nominate a financial controller who could face up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $210,000 if they breached their responsibilities.

The Human Rights Law Centre said the harsh penalties meant groups were likely to err on the side of caution. “This could cause a chilling effect, where organisations steer clear of voicing views on any matter publicly,” it says.vemn ets

In a briefing note, the Australian Conservation Foundation says the proposed changes are part of a blatant attempt to shut down environmental opposition to government policies.

“This will be dressed up as ‘levelling the playing field’ or ‘cleaning up the money in politics’ but it is actually the silencing of civil society, and will prevent many charities from effectively pursuing their missions,” it says.

While green groups are under pressure, funding for government environment and biodiversity programs has been slashed. This isn’t a new phenomenon – there have been notable cuts under governments of both stripes – but, as Guardian Australia revealed last month, they have been particularly sharp under this federal Coalition.

Australian Conservation Foundation policy analyst James Trezise, who worked at the federal environment department until 2014, says biodiversity conservation and monitoring and auditing programs has suffered.

“There are good people in there who want to do good work to ensure the environment is protected,” Trezise says. “But they are heavily constrained by a government that has deprioritised the environment, by serious resource cuts and a lack of ambition in implementing policy and legislation.”

Any discussion of the state of environmental protection and natural resource management returns to the use of the national environmental laws introduced by the Howard government.

There is a strong view across the community, from green groups to the business community, that the act is not fit for purpose in its current form.

Since the Coalition was elected in 2013 it has used the act to stop only one development: a pair of wind turbines on Lord Howe Island that were blocked last year due to their “intrusive visual impact”.

The Wilderness Society national campaigns director Lyndon Schneiders says the legislation is ill-conceived and weak, having been designed as a form of triage – to maintain the minimum viable population of a species through conditions and offsets – while allowing proposals to go ahead.

“There is no underlying principle in the act to say it is to protect the environment. It’s not – it’s to manage development,” he says.

Nicola Beynon, head of campaigns with Humane Society International, is more positive – “it’s a good piece of legislation” – but says it is weakened by the extent to which the minister can decided how it is used. She gives the example of offset provisions.

“The way ecology works you can’t just replace it somewhere else, but these days they have even abandoned the concept of trying to replace like for like,” he says. “Now it can be replaced with another species. The net effect is you lose biodiversity over time.”

Some are positive about what the existing law can deliver. Of the 20 proposed developments stopped using the act, 13 were by Garrett in the less than three years he was minister.

The Midnight Oil frontman says: “Under a strong minister with political support in the cabinet it’s still better than most acts in most countries.” But everyone interviewed agreed it should be revamped or replaced. A review by former public servant Allan Hawke commissioned by Garrett recommended in 2009 a raft of changes to toughen and streamline the law, but they have not been acted on.

The man who oversaw the act’s introduction, former Liberal environment minister Robert Hill, says the law was regarded as world’s best practice when it came in and that he has not seen advances on it elsewhere, but agrees there is a case for change.

“It’s been nearly 20 years. I have assumed there will be a new evolution. I’ve been expecting it and I know various law reform bodies have been thinking about it,” he says.

He warns against judging the legislation on the number of developments blocked as the primary goal was to ensure the best environmental outcomes when they were approved, but adds: “I don’t know the act has always been employed as rigorously as I would have liked to have seen.” He declines to say it when it could have been better used.

Hill is an ambassador for Conservatives for Conservation, a Coalition-aligned group making the case for environmental protection from the centre-right. He does not agree the big decisions of the 1980s would not be made now – the act makes them easier to achieve, he says. But he does not support the targeting of environment and other civil society groups. “I wasn’t demanding it. I thought it was working OK.”

The act’s current custodian, environment minister Josh Frydenberg, says the existing law is still the best national mechanism to protect important and sensitive environment matters. He says it has “ensured Australia has remained at the forefront of global best practice” in meeting its international obligations for migratory species, wildlife trade and world heritage.

Many of those interviewed say there has been a cultural shift, that there was once bipartisan agreement that protecting the environment was a public good, but that has disappeared as public life has become more ideological and parliament drawn from a narrower cross-section of the community.

 There was once bipartisan agreement that protecting the environment was a public good, but that has disappeared as public life has become more ideological and parliament drawn from a narrower cross-section of the community.
 There was once bipartisan agreement that protecting the environment was a public good, but that has disappeared as public life has become more ideological. Photograph: Barbara Fischer/Getty Images
Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham says: “It has become a badge of honour for many Coalition MPs to beat up on the environment. That wasn’t always the case.”

Judy Lambert has watched the change since her time in Canberra in the 1980s and 1990s, first as a national liaison officer with the Wilderness Society and later a non-political technical advisor to Labor minister Ros Kelly.

“The extremes are more extreme than they were. You used to be able to go and speak to political offices on both sides to discuss issues, whether you agreed or disagreed. I don’t think that would be possible now,” she says.

“It feels to me that we’ve lost the commitment to good science, or good technical expertise of any sort.”

Lambert says there was a noticeable shift in the 1990s when industry lobbyists began to borrow techniques used in environmental campaigns to build community support for their position. Employed successfully, it helped shift the weight in decision-making discussions towards short-term economic gain over longer-term environmental benefits.

It coincided with a dramatic growth in the number of industry-backed lobbyists employed to make their case in Canberra. At the same time, the number of professional environmental activists based in the capital has been cut in half since late last century.

In the face of this, the green movement will campaign this year for an overhaul of national environment laws, coming together under the banner Places You Love.

Don Henry, who campaigned for years as the head of the Australian Conservation Foundation and is now professor at the University of Melbourne, is optimistic about the chances of success.

Unlike others interviewed, he believes the big environmental wins of the 1980s could be landed today. Research shows the majority of Australians care deeply about the environment. If that can be tapped into, the political will would follow.

“People are now much more aware how important clean air, clean water and the environment is than they were 40 or 50 years ago,” he says. “What we don’t have in place at the moment in Australia is a 21st-century suite of environment laws, and it is about time we did.”

Business Council asks for free reign on dodgy work visas

29 January 2018

The Business Council’s call for “trusted” businesses to be exempt from visa regulations comes at a time when exploitation of migrant workers is at a peak. Loosening already weak legislation will only expose migrant workers to even greater levels of exploitation, and allow the unrestricted use of work visas at a time when regional unemployment is in crisis.

Numerous reports have found that exploitation of migrant workers through our broken work visa program is systemic. Visa arrangements are already skewed in favour of employers. Allowing businesses exemptions from the flimsy regulations that currently exist would be disastrous for migrant and local workers alike.

We need to change the rules on work visas to protect migrant workers from exploitation with stricter regulation – not less – and ensure that if there are local workers available to fill positions that they have priority.

Quotes attributable to Ged Kearney, ACTU President:

  • “Migrant workers need more protection from exploitation, not less. Businesses are asking to be exempt from the rules which have been put in place to protect workers.”
  • “Businesses are having no problem bringing in migrant workers. Any further loosening of the system will expose migrant workers to even more rampant exploitation and unacceptable working conditions.”
  • “We need to change the rules on skilled migration to ensure that workers who come here are protected, and also to ensure that jobs which can and should be done by local workers are available to them.”
  • “The current system is already set up to benefit employers, and yet they are asking for more power.”
  • “The Turnbull Government needs to decide whether it wants to hand business a blank cheque on exploitation of workers, or if it wants to stand up for proper jobs, with legal pay and conditions.”

Sunday, January 28, 2018

130,000 metal workers in Turkey to go on strike for better wages

Around 130,000 Turkish metal workers are preparing to strike in 180 workplaces, including major multinational companies such as Renault, Ford, Bosch, Arçelik and Mercedes, hoping that it will put pressure on employers to raise salaries and provide better social benefits.

The workers who are members of the Turkish Metal Union (Türk Metal), the United Metal Workers' Union (Birleşik Metal-İş) and the Iron, Steel, Metal and Metallic Products Workers' Union (Çelik-İş) announced the strike last week, and are set to go on strike on February 2.

In a move that will likely fuel tensions, companies including Tofaş, Ford Otosan, Otokar, Arçelik and Türk Traktör stated that the Metal Industrialists Union (MESS) has made a lockout decision for striking workers.

The strike comes in the wake of months-long failed talks for a collective labor contract with their employer association MESS.

In the negotiations, Türk Metal and Çelik-İş wanted a 38 percent wage increase for the first 6 months, while Birleşik Metal-İş pressed for a TL 695 raise, however their demands were met with only an offer of a 6.4 percent increase in wages for the first six months. Workers and the unions rejected the offer on Jan.12.

The labor unions have also demanded social benefits, notice and severance payments, overtime and night works, paid holidays, improved health and safety measures and supplementary health coverage through a two-year collective agreement, but have instead been offered low wages and not much else.

After failed negotiations at the beginning of December 2017, the three unions also started to engage in warning actions, including not doing overtime.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Henry Reynolds – History and Australia Day

The decision by ABC Triple J to move the Hottest 100, its popular musical countdown, from January 26 has reignited the smouldering controversy about Australia Day. The radio station has moved the 2018 poll from Australia Day to January 27 after a listener survey. On January 26 the station will broadcast events such as citizenship ceremonies and the cricket, ensuring “the Hottest 100 and Australia Day get the coverage they deserve as separate events”.

In his response to the decision the federal communications minister, Mitch Fifield, insisted that there was “nothing controversial about Australia Day” but announced that he would be sending a formal complaint to the ABC board.

Fifield is mistaken. The date chosen for Australia Day is highly controversial and increasingly contested, as the over-flowing response to the station’s decision underlined. Young people in particular are troubled by it and it seems appropriate that Triple J has responded by choosing to separate their countdown from Australia Day.

Two things are at stake in discussion around Australia Day: the day and the date. They are almost always conflated. Supporters of January 26 seem to think critics of the date are against the idea of a national day and are by definition lacking in patriotism; that their behaviour exhibits a spirit of manifest disloyalty.

But this seriously distorts the motivation of the increasing number of Australians who want to be able to celebrate the nation on an alternative date. They say yes to the day but no to the date.

The date

The confusion of the two was illustrated in a poll taken earlier this year and reported in Fairfax. More than seven out of ten respondents declared that Australia Day was important to them but less than half of them were able to correctly name the event that was being commemorated. Only 43% identified the first landing at Sydney Cove on January 26 1788.

One in five chose the arrival of James Cook on the coast 18 years earlier in 1770. One in six picked the anniversary of federation (January 1 1901). Seven percent thought the national day marked the signing of a treaty with the first nations (we don’t have one). Almost as many thought it was the date when Australia ceased to be a British colony (it’s not clear when this happened) and 2% believed it commemorated an important battle in World War I.

There are other pressing questions about January 26. For those patriots who want to celebrate the coming of the British two other days would be more appropriate - January 20 when the whole fleet had finally arrived in Botany Bay, or February 7 when the first governor Arthur Phillip read the proclamations before the assembled expedition and formally annexed the colony. This was the defining moment when, in the words of the First Fleet chronicler Watkin Tench, the British “took possession of the colony in form”.

What are we celebrating?

What happened on February 7 1788 brings us to the central point of contention about celebrating Australia Day and the arrival of the British. The British illegitimately claimed two things: sovereignty and property (sovereignty is about law and government; property about land ownership).

In doing so they were behaving in a manner which was contrary to practice then several generations old in North America and to both international and common law as they were understood at the time.

The 18th Century settlement in the American colonies was accompanied by the signing of treaties with the first nations and hence to gain sovereignty. The new American government was negotiating treaties when the First Fleet was on the high seas and continued to do so during the early years of New South Wales. The British never signed treaties with Australia’s First Nations. This is the basis for current discussions around a treaty.

But the more aberrant British behaviour was the decision to give no recognition to Aboriginal property rights and to proclaim that every inch of land became the property of the British Crown.

This was not what happened in America. It had no support in international law. Nor was there any justification in the common law, which strongly defended the property rights of the subject against the Crown. How it was possible for Aboriginal people to become British subjects at one moment and then lose all their property rights has never been explained in a judicial sense.

Up until the Mabo Judgement in 1992, which for the first time recognised native title, it was possible to avoid facing the enormity of British behaviour. But once the High Court declared that the First Nations were both in possession of and legitimate owners of their ancestral lands the game was up. The legal problem for Australia’s British colonists was that without a treaty there was no clear definition of how and when sovereignty passed from the first nations to the Crown. Nor was there any satisfactory explanation of how the First Nations could be legitimately dispossessed.

Questions to answer

At Sydney Cove the British government carried out one of the greatest expropriations in modern history. They stole the traditional lands of hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people across half a continent without any thought of compensation. That they did so in ignorance allows for no effective exculpation. How many of the convicts, transported overwhelmingly for theft, would have employed that defence if the law had so allowed?

This leaves us with several inescapable questions. Why do so many Australians want to commemorate an act of egregious injustice?

And why fail to recognise that it predetermined the great tragedy that unfolded over the whole continent for generations to come?

And why think the appropriate manner is the heedless hedonism thought appropriate for a summer holiday?

Is there any comparable situation anywhere else in the world? I think not.

It raises that difficult question of whether mainstream Australians really think first nations’ people are our countrymen and women or not. It seems that in relation to our national day we have the choice of identifying with the predatory British imperialists or with the Aboriginal people who struggled to defend their lands, their lives and their way of life against what fast became overwhelming odds

Clearly what is needed is a new national day. Ideally it would commemorate the political and social achievements of modern Australia. I think this could be May 9, the date in 1901 when the first federal parliament house was founded in Melbourne. But we could keep January 26 and completely remodel it to do two things.

We could commemorate the First Nation’s patriots who died fighting for their country and remember also the convicts who were also victims of British Imperialism and who did so much of the work to found both New South Wales and Tasmania.

Invasion Day marches draw tens of thousands of protesters

Rallies across Australia call for date change, action on the Uluru statement and an end to ‘racist’ policies

Massive crowds turned out for the Invasion Day march in Melbourne on Friday, far surpassing expectations and exceeding numbers at the official Australia Day parade.

The crowd in Melbourne, an estimated 60,000, was by far the biggest of a series of protests in major cities across the country.

Smaller marches were held in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Darwin, celebrating Indigenous resistance, calling for action on the Uluru statement and urging an end to “racist” and harmful government policies.

Together they presented a voice that organisers said could not be ignored.

The tens of thousands in Melbourne marched under the banner of “abolish Australia Day”.

Melbourne turns out in force for #InvasionDay Reports of 60,000.

Time to pay respects to our black history, and offer solidarity#ChangeTheDate #AlwaysWillBe

The Invasion Day march outnumbered those at the official Australia Day parade. Spectators stayed to watch the protest, awkwardly waving plastic Australian flags as the crowd chanting “no pride in genocide” marched past.

With dozens of police officers present, human rights observers from Amnesty Australia monitored police behaviour.

It’s been said that 60k had turned up today in #Melbourne for the #InvasionDay March. Prof. Gary Foley stated that he had never seen such large numbers for a protest since the late 60s.

The march closed off a 2km loop of the city, stretching from Parliament House, down Bourke Street and Swanston Street, and back along Flinders Street to Treasury Gardens.

The leading Indigenous activist Gary Foley, a professor of history at Victoria University, surveyed the crowd from the back of a flat-top truck in the closed-off street outside Flinders Street station.

“I haven’t seen a crowd like this since the 1970s,” he said. “If we keep mobilising these sort of numbers, governments cannot ignore us.”

January 26, 2018. The people are speaking. The future will be shaped by these voices and those before. Always was, always will be.

In Sydney, protesters joined two events: the Long March for Justice Through Treaty, a recreation of the 1988 march from Redfern to Hyde Park, and an Invasion Day march from the Block in Redfern to Victoria Park.

A smaller crowd of several hundred turned out for the Justice Through Treaty march, which featured a series of powerful speeches, including from the shadow human services minister, Linda Burney, and the Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary, Sally McManus.

Several hundred people in Hyde Park after Justice Through Treaty March from Redfern. Gillian Triggs describes lack of action on Uluru Statement is a “national shame”. @sallymcmanus said CDP program is deeply racist and must be abolished. #invasionday

McManus called for an end to the community development program in remote communities. She labelled it deeply racist and said it ought to be abolished.

“It’s a racist program because it is only in rural and remote areas, 80% of the people in the program are Indigenous and they have to work 25 hours a week, compulsory work, no sick leave, no annual leave, no workers’ compensation, no minimum wage,” McManus said, prompting cries of “shame” from the crowd.

Earlier, the former human rights commissioner Gillian Triggs said the Turnbull government’s response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart was a source of national shame.

The Coalition, she said, had betrayed the optimism and faith of Indigenous leaders in the process.

“It’s shameful that despite all the political promises and the meeting of experts, the Turnbull government has rejected the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” Triggs said. “It’s especially disappointing as that process was established by unanimous action in 2013 and succeeded in making a considered proposal for recognition.”

Yingiya Guyula, a Northern Territory MP, said Indigenous people were still being pushed off the land and forced to assimilate in Arnhem Land. He called for the start of a true treaty process, which was not imposed on Indigenous people.

“We do not want treaty that is imposed on us,” he said. “We want treaty that liberates our people and recognises our law.”

Crowds were significantly larger at the second Sydney event and organiser Ken Canning said he hoped it would draw attention to Indigenous deaths in custody.

“The idea here is to engage the general public because our political spectrum around the country, except for maybe the Greens party ... they ignore the calls of Aboriginal people,” he said before the march.

“It’s also important to raise the issues that are still ongoing in Aboriginal communities. We have the highest deaths in custody rates in the world per head of population, the highest imprisonment rates.”

Hundreds of people rallied on the lawns of Hobart’s Parliament House, calling for the date of Australia Day to be changed. Banners reading “Survival Day” were carried by protesters.

“It’s not just Aboriginal people but our non-Indigenous friends who know the difference between right and wrong,” the Aboriginal activist Nala Mansell told the crowd.

Fantastic turn out for Hobart, looked like a massive crowd to me - thanks to all who raised their voices to protest the injustice the continues today!  #InvasionDay

In Adelaide, several hundred people gathered on the steps of Parliament House. The Aboriginal elder Tauto Sansbury told the crowd that recognising the hurt caused by celebrating on the day the first fleet arrived must be the start of a wider conversation.

“People have said there’s other issues to deal with, well no there’s not,” he said. “This is the first one that breaks down the barriers. Then we can move on to all of the other things that are not right for Aboriginal people.”

AEU – Turnbull must come clean with parents on advertising spend

25 January 2018

The Australian Education Union calls on the Turnbull Government to publicly declare how much taxpayers’ money it is spending on its flashy new ad campaign to spin its school funding cuts.

  • “Parents deserve to know how many of their tax dollars are being spent on this advertising. The Turnbull Government is cutting billions in education funding over the next two years,” said Correna Haythorpe, Federal President of the Australian Education Union.
  • “Defunding schools is unpopular. It’s no wonder Malcolm Turnbull is spending up big on advertising to spin his cuts. This ad campaign is potentially costing millions. That’s millions of dollars that should be going to our schools.
  • “Turnbull’s school funding plan entrenches inequality. Children experiencing disadvantage in our public system will be the most affected by Turnbull’s diversion of funding away from public schools.
  • “State governments were railroaded into bearing the brunt of Turnbull’s funding cuts. As a result, 84 percent of public schools will be below the minimum School Resources Standard by 2027, while two-­thirds of private schools will be overfunded.
  • “Funding cuts are funding cuts. It doesn’t matter how the Government tries to spin it. Parents deserve to know how much taxpayers’ money is being spent trying to hoodwink them,” said Ms Haythorpe.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – Doomsday Clock 2 Minutes to midnight

Because of the “extraordinary danger of the current moment,” the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists today moved the hand of the iconic Doomsday Clock to 2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT. The last time the Clock was this close to midnight was in 1953.

President and CEO Rachel Bronson and four members of the Bulletin’s leadership participated in a media event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. earlier today to answer questions about the board’s decision.

As she announced the 2018 time, Bronson observed that the time on the Doomsday Clock represents the Bulletin’s answer to two important questions: Is the future of civilization safer or at greater risk than it was last year, and is the future of civilization safer or at greater risk compared to the more than seven decades that we’ve been asking this question?”

In the 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement, the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board responds by declaring an “untenable nuclear threat,” as concerns deepen that nuclear weapons may be used, either intentionally or unintentionally. North Korea’s progress on its nuclear weapons program and a range of US-Russian military entanglements, along with the simultaneous upgrading of global nuclear arsenals and weakening of arms control negotiations, are among the most immediate worries.

On the climate change front, the statement notes that while the danger may seem less immediate, “Global carbon dioxide emissions have not yet shown the beginnings of the sustained decline towards zero that must occur…” Extreme heatwaves, devastating wildfires, and a dwindling winter icecap in the Arctic are just a few indicators of worsening climate change and a year of exceptional warming, and the board points to a global response that has fallen far short.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists invites you to read the 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement in full and to commit to working with us to reverse the increasing threats to humanity’s present and future. As the statement concludes: "Leaders react when citizens insist they do so…They can insist on facts, and discount nonsense. They can demand action to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war and unchecked climate change. They can seize the opportunity to make a safer and saner world.

MUA welcomes Peace Boat with survivors of the Hiroshima

MUA welcomes Peace Boat with survivors of the Hiroshima

Posted by Mua communications on January 24, 2018

The Peace Boat, a passenger ship that travels the world to promote peace and opposition to nuclear weapons, is visiting Australia on its’ 96th voyage. The visit is part of the Making Waves speaking tour featuring nuclear survivors from Japan and Australia. Peace Boat’s voyage to Australia will occur from 24 January to the 6 February 2018.

The boat is run by a Japan-based international non-governmental and non-profit organisation that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment.

Warren Smith MUA Assistant National Secretary said, “The MUA has a long and proud history of anti-nuclear and peace activism recognising peace is union business and that it is workers who suffer the burden of war.”

“Military aggression must be opposed and the Peace Boat celebrated at a time when the perpetrators of the first atomic weapons strike have a president in Donald Trump who is openly returning us the darkest days of the nuclear war threat, all apparently supported by our US puppet Turnbull, said Smith

MUA members are encouraged to visit the 'Peace Boat' when it berths in various ports.

The Peace Boat schedule in Australia is:

Fremantle, Australia, January 24-25, 2018

Adelaide, Australia, January 29, 2018

Melbourne, Australia, January 31, 2018

Hobart, Australia, February 2, 2018

Sydney, Australia, February 5-6, 2018

MUA members will welcome the Peace Boat on Monday February 5 in Sydney (meeting 7am for 730am boarding) to welcome nuclear bomb survivors from Japan and Australia, evacuated Fukushima farmers and 800 other people who have joined the 96th voyage of the Peace Boat to listen and learn about the impacts of nuclear weapons.

Assistant Branch Secretary Joe Deakin will be speaking at the official welcome on behalf of the MUA.

About the Peace Boat

Peace Boat seeks to create awareness and action based on effecting positive social and political change in the world. We pursue this through the organization of global educational programmes, responsible travel, cooperative projects and advocacy activities. These activities are carried out on a partnership basis with other civil society organizations and communities in Japan, Northeast Asia, and around the world.

The  MUA is supporting the public forum being held on Monday 5 February 2018 at 6:00pm at Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern, Sydney, NSW

MUA members are encouraged to attend to hear first-hand accounts of the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and the growing international movement to ban them forever.

 Speakers include:

•   Miyake Nobuo, survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

•   Hasegawa Hanako and Hasegawa Kenichi, former dairy farmers evacuated from Itate village, Fukushima

•   Karina Lester, Yankunytjatjara-Anangu second-generation nuclear test survivor

•   Scott Ludlam, former federal Senator and ICAN Ambassador

•   Zach Wone, MUA Sydney Branch ATSI Committee Secretary

ACTU – Right to strike is almost dead

25 January 2018

Today’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to suspend the action by train drivers is further evidence of the broken rules in Australian workplaces that are driving down wage growth.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions today noted that the right to withdraw your labour is a fundamental human right, that is denied to most Australian workers, most of the time.

Quotes attributable to Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary:

  • “The basic right to strike in Australia is very nearly dead.
  • “Rail workers followed every single rule and law, and still the Minister of the day can get an order to cancel bans on working excessive overtime.
  • “When working people and their union go through every possible hoop and hurdle and are still denied these basic rights, it is no secret why so many workers haven’t had a pay rise.
  • “Working people’s wages in Australia are so stagnant because the rules are stacked in the favour of the employers. 
  • “We need to change the rules, because Australia needs a pay rise.”

Thursday, January 25, 2018

ExxonMobil Australia – 218 Days Protest

218 days. That’s how long workers have been protesting outside a gas plant in Longford, Victoria, owned by oil giant ExxonMobil Australia.

They’re outside because of our broken workplace laws. Laws that allowed the workers’ employer to bring in a dodgy workplace agreement approved by five people on the other side of the country who these workers have never met. Now they are expected to accept 30% wage cuts and harsh rosters which will make it hard for them to see their families.

These workers are some of the faces of the Change the Rules campaign. They are hurting because of our broken rules.

And, to add insult to injury, ExxonMobil made $24.8 billion dollars in Australia in the last three years. Do you know how much tax Exxon paid in that time?

Not a cent. Zero. Zilch. Nada. None.

Every worker out on the lawn at Longford paid more tax last year than the multinational corporation trying to cut their pay.

Help these workers now, and make Exxon pay their fair share of tax, by signing this petition.

It’s completely outrageous. That’s money that should be going to our schools and hospitals, or maybe even paying their workers properly.

If corporations like Exxon want to go after the wages of local workers – we will go after their record of tax dodging. Clearly, they can afford fair wages.

This petition will be delivered by the Exxon workers to the Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance the same day Exxon executives will be grilled by our national leaders.

Let’s show we demand action on these corporations.

It’s very important that as many people to petition as possible. We know when working people stand together we have the most impact, and unless we get an overwhelming show of the community to stand with these workers against tax-dodging Exxon.

Sign the petition to make Exxon pay

Sally McManus
ACTU Secretary

P.S. These are the same tactics used by Carlton United Breweries, who also tried to cut workers’ pay and deny working people the right to negotiate on their own behalf. When we came together to support them, they won. Let’s do it again.

Want to help out the guys directly? Chip in to keep the community protest going:

ACTU – 2018 CEO wish list a vision for low wage growth, insecure work

24 January 2018

2018 CEO wish list a vision for low wage growth, insecure workAI Group’s annual CEO survey shows CEOs forecasting more flat-lining wage growth and insecure work in 2018.

The survey shows CEOs calling for ‘modest’ wage growth, which is simply another way of saying that record low wage growth will continue.

It confirms that the tax cuts that big business are pushing for will not be passed on to workers, but simply held as increased profits while workers continue to suffer through low wage growth and insecure work.

The Turnbull Government’s tax cuts are a transfer of wealth from the working, tax paying people of Australia to the very rich.

Quotes attributable to Ged Kearney, ACTU President:
  • “The result of this survey is clear, big business will pocket any benefits from the tax cuts, and create more insecure work and continue record low wage growth.
  • “This is further evidence that big business has too much power, and we need to change the rules so working people can get higher wages and more secure work.
  • “The Turnbull Government’s tax cuts will make inequality worse, they will do nothing other than move money from working people to the very rich.
  • “The absurdity of giving $65 billion to big businesses which we know don’t pay their share of tax cannot be overstated. This is a cash handout to the Government’s mates, plain and simple.”
  • “This survey also shows that the average CEO can’t see a link between not paying workers more and people not having money to spend in their business. The lack of economic literacy is concerning.”
  • “We need to change the rules to give working people more power to fight for wage increases. The Turnbull Government’s alternative is to be led by business into a future of even more insecure work and lower wages.”

ACTU – 30th Anniversary 30th Anniversary First Nations Long March

ACTU stands with First Nations workers for equal rights at the 30th Anniversary of the Long March
25 January 2018

ACTU secretary Sally McManus will call for Minister Nigel Scullion to listen to the First Nations Workers Alliance (FNWA) and make systemic changes to the racist Community Development Program at the ‘30th Anniversary of the 1988 Long March’ rally in Sydney’s Hyde Park tomorrow.

The FNWA is made up of CDP workers and Indigenous trade union members who are fighting against the racist and exploitative Community Development Program.

The racist work-for-the-dole scheme does not pay wages to its overwhelmingly Indigenous workforce for the 25 hours of work participants have to do every week in order to receive welfare benefits. The scheme hands out penalties at a rate and magnitude higher than any other employment scheme. It forces workers to work without OHS protections, leave entitlements superannuation or workers’ compensation in the event of injury at work.

Quotes attributable to Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary:
  • “The union movement was proud to march with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the 1988 Long March for ‘Justice, Freedom, and Hope’, just as we are proud to stand beside them today.
  • “The Long March was a pivotal moment in Australian history. It brought international attention to Australia’s horrific treatment of First Nations people, and confirmed the Australian community’s overwhelming support for Aboriginal rights.
  • “Sadly, today First Nations workers are still fighting for basic rights as workers, due to the Turnbull Government’s racist Community Development Program.
  • “This program denies people basic rights as workers. All workers should be paid legal wages for work. The Government should focus on real jobs in regional and remote communities instead.
  • “Indigenous Australians are still having to fight for justice 30 years after the Long March, and the union movement continues to stand with them. This Abbott/Turnbull program is a blight on our nation,
  • “The program must be scrapped, Indigenous workers must be given the same rights, opportunities and treatment before the law that all workers in Australia should be able to expect.”
26 January 2018
Meeting Redfern Oval 9.30am
Marching to Hyde Park South arriving 11.15-30am
(closest access Liverpool St)

Sally McManus will speak at 12.25pm in Hyde Park

An Australian Electric Car ???

In Elizabeth in South Australia, they stood in a huge line, only three months ago, and spelled out HOLDEN for the helicopters. Thirteen weeks later, after the plant closed and the last car rolled away, the talk began of rejuvenation, a new owner and the promise of the electric.

The proposal, from the British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, to refit the old Holden plant to make electric cars is still just a suggestion, but it has captured the imagination of a country suddenly keen to talk. On Monday, the idea was backed to the hilt by the premier, Jay Weatherill, and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union. On Tuesday, the federal energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, said the electric car would do to Australia “what the iPhone did to the communications sector”.

Last November, the urban infrastructure minister, Paul Fletcher, announced a review into how electric cars could affect road revenue – a tacit acknowledgment that, depending on how the dice fall, they could change everything in the next decade or two.

Most experts agree the era of the electric car is coming – at some point. The issue is when. Behyad Jafari, the chief executive of the Electric Vehicle Council, says the future of the industry hinges on government intervention.

By global standards, Australia is lagging behind. Only 0.1% of all new car sales in 2016 in Australia were electric, and that was actually down 23% on the year before. Other nations are powering ahead – Norway on 29%, the Netherlands on 6% and China, France and the UK on 1.5% of new cars in the same year.

Market share of electric vehicles, selected countries
United Kingdom
United States

Jafari has been calling on the government to introduce a temporary tax, stamp duty or rego fee exemption for electric cars – to “kickstart” the industry – and a national plan of action.

“The government has thought the issue is a lack of model availability and charging infrastructure, but in fact they are symptoms of our problem,” he says. “There is a lack of certainty that the market will do well. In every other country there is policy support, but that doesn’t exist here ”

A Holden Volt electric car. British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta is eyeing a plan to build electric cars at the former Holden site in South Australia. Photograph: Gm HoldenIf the government pulls the right policy levers, he believes, the industry will follow. Last year, the UK and France announced they would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. Volvo announced it would make only electric or hybrid cars from 2019.

In Australia, the government provides a discount on the luxury car tax threshold for low-emission vehicles and companies can earn carbon credits by buying electric – but the industry wants more. 

The Department of Environment and Energy’s current prediction is that electric cars will be 15% of new vehicle sales by 2030. The CSIRO predicts 20% by 2035, and the Australian Energy Market Operator predicts between 16% and 45% by 2036.

“I’m not in the business of setting projections because they’re always wrong,” Jafari says. “Every year the battery technology becomes more effective and cheaper at a faster rate than anyone predicts. The predictions of uptake and driving range are reforecast higher every year.

“The question is, do you want to take into account projections based on how things have been so far and assuming nothing changes? Or projections for what happens if Australia gets its act together and provides support?”

Jafari believes the upward, exponential trend could begin between 2018 and 2020, which means all eyes are on Frydenberg.

“A signal has been sent that a change is coming,” Jafari says.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

ACTU – Working people need access to justice

24 January 2018

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has today called for the return of a strong and independent umpire with the power to resolve disputes, and provide working people with access to justice.

Quotes attributable to Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary:

  • “The Liberal Party cut the powers of the Fair Work Commission to give big business more power, taking away basic rights of working people. “It should be quick and easy for working people to access justice.
  • “But under the current system, working people are forced to go through expensive and timely procedures in the Federal Court.
  • “Currently, workers can have their wages stolen, and there’s very little the Fair Work Commission can do about it.
  • “Without a strong and independent umpire, mining giant Glencore has been able to look out its workers for over six months.
  • “A strong and an independent umpire is necessary to balance the power of employers.
  • “We had a unique system of an independent umpire that worked well for decades.
  • “It stopped working well when the Liberals took away the power of the umpire to resolve issues, and began to stack the Commission with appointees from big business.
  • “We need to restore both its independence and its power to ensure working people get a fair go again”.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018



In a matter listed for call-over in the ACT Supreme Court today, the CFMEU will allege that the Australian Federal Police taped a private phone call between a CFMEU official and a former ACT Police Minister’s office, and illegally leaked it to the media.

In early 2015, the CFMEU’s ACT Secretary Dean Hall met with a former Police Minister to raise concerns at the behaviour by the AFP in illegally preventing union officials from entering building sites. A subsequent telephone conversation between Dean Hall and a member of the former Police Minister’s staff was recorded by the AFP. The recording was then leaked to the media, which led to the Minister’s resignation.

The CFMEU believes the AFP illegally leaked the recording, and accordingly requested the Commonwealth Ombudsman investigate the matter. The Ombudsman referred the matter back to the AFP. The AFP has maintained it has an investigation underway. But with no outcome 18 months later, the CFMEU has taken the matter to Court.

While this all occurred during the witch-hunt Heydon Royal Commission, the recorded conversation was never aired during any Commission hearings.

“The CFMEU has grave concerns about the initial leaking of the recorded phone call – which is illegal – and the length of time it is taking for an investigation to occur,” CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said.

“This is a very serious matter, which cost the ACT Police Minister and a member of her staff their jobs. It should not be swept under the carpet.

“What’s more, the ACT Liberals and Employment Minister MIchaelia Cash have used information about this case in the ACT Parliament and the Senate respectively. Their offices should also be scrutinised.

“A year and a half after the illegal phone tap leaks occurred, we still have no answers. We hope to find some through the Court.

“We need to remember that at the heart of this saga is the issue of safety on building sites. The AFP was challenging CFMEU official’s legal right of entry onto building sites, and the union rightly went to the Minister to complain.

“Two people have died on construction sites this week. This is why we have right of entry laws - laws the AFP demonstrated contempt for.”

Stand with Lula. Stand up for democracy in Brazil

Sharan Burrow via 

Democracy is under attack in Brazil. After deposing the democratically elected president Dilma Rousseff, a group of corrupt politicians took power to implement anti-union measures - including dismantling of workers’ rights, threats to public pensions, attacks on social protection and the cash transfer programmes; it has attempted to legalise forced labour by changing the definition of slavery and now it is trying to prevent former president Lula from running for office in the coming elections.

On 24 January, a regional appeals court will decide on politically motivated and false charges against Lula. They want a guilty verdict to stop him standing for election again, destroy his reputation and remove his influence.

While trying to find a crime - any crime - to convict Lula in the courts, opponents of Brazil’s most important political leader engaged in a trial by media, in the most extraordinary defamation campaign against a public figure in the history of the country.

Lula’s lawyers have listed a number of violations of fundamental rights in the campaign against him, including deprivation of liberty, illegal phone tapping and leaking of correspondence, interception of his communications with his lawyers, the presumption of guilt without any evidence or trial, and the absence of an unbiased judge and of fair legal proceedings.

Powerful forces in Brazil are seeking to turn the clock back, undoing the progress his government made and returning the country into the hands of a small but all-powerful elite.

The prospect of Brazil returning to its infamous past is a threat to the people of Brazil and the rest of the world.

Join our call, Stand with Lula. Stand up for democracy in Brazil

In solidarity,

Sharan Burrow
ITUC General Secretary

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is the global voice of the world’s working people and represents 202 million workers in 163 countries and territories. For more information, please visit our website

LRB – Carillion and Other Parasites

London Review of Books

Carillion and Other Parasites
Lorna Finlayson 17 January 2018

Until very recently, most of us hadn’t heard of Carillion. Not having heard of a particular company wouldn’t usually be surprising or unsettling. But this is more like not having heard of the people who have been making alterations to your house, building your neighbour’s and – in an odd display of versatility – delivering lunches to your children. Because it turns out that Carillion is – or was, until its sudden but entirely predictable liquidation on Monday – pretty much everywhere. As a result, several projects, including the building of two hospitals, a high-speed railway and a bypass in Aberdeen, now hang in the balance, along with the jobs of around 20,000 UK workers.

A certain subterfuge was always a built-in feature of the ‘public-private partnerships’ (PPPs) and ‘private finance initiatives’ (PFIs) of which Tony Blair was so enthusiastic a pioneer. In classic Third Way fudgethink, these initiatives were presented not as all-out privatisation but as a ‘best of both worlds’ solution, a series of discreet injections of what a creaking public sector badly needed: the fabled private-sector virtue of ‘efficiency’, and hard cash (which would come out of the public purse sooner or later, but could be kept off the public balance sheet in the meantime). Companies such as Carillion are not like supermarket chains, loudly competing for customers. They snaffle up public-sector contracts on the quiet, and the public hears about it only when things go so badly wrong that the government can no longer mop up the mess.

In Carillion’s case, the government tried to save the struggling firm by awarding £2 billion worth of new contracts to it even as a series of profit warnings were issued. That didn’t work; and now we hear about it. At this point, however, why the government continued to award contracts to a high risk outfit may not be the first question to ask (the answer may or may not have anything to do with the fact that Carillion’s chairman is a prominent adviser to and supporter of the Conservative Party).

It may also be beside the point to focus on the various instances of Carillion’s unsavoury corporate behaviour, such as tweaking the rules to protect bosses’ bonuses, or blacklisting employees who raised concerns about safety. In so doing, we fail to question the principle of private-sector ‘delivery’ of public services, despite the abundant and mounting evidence – from the NHS to academy chains – that the relationship of these companies to their host institutions in the public sector is not symbiosis but parasitism, and that this is no accident but part of the essential nature of the profit-making beast.

Monday, January 22, 2018

History – Rail Tram And Bus Union RTBU


by RON PEARSALL (Last) Federal Secretary

In 1913 the Union was registered in Melbourne, Victoria, as The Australian Tramway Union.

In 1934 the registration was changed to Australian Tramway & Motor Omnibus Employees Association when we obtained coverage for bus drivers.

Our Union has been in the forefront with many struggles.

The 40 hour week; Equal pay – in 1942 we were the first union to be successful in having women employed on equal pay resulting in equal pay slowly being introduced throughout the workforce – some industries took 20 years or more to have this introduced.

We have been a very militant union, involved in many disputes.

In the 50’s the One Man tram dispute in Melbourne which resulted in the Union being deregistered federally for 2 years with the employers, T.W.U., A.T.O.F. (now amalgamated as A.S.U.) opposing our re-registration as a union.

We led the way against the Penal Clauses of the Federal Act with Victorian Secretary Clarrie O’Shea being goaled in 1969 for refusing to pay fines imposed under the Federal Act.  This resulted in the Sheriff being sent to all union offices nationally to seize the funds and property of the Union.  A national stoppage of the Trade Union Movement followed which resulted in the removal of the Penal Clauses and the release of Clarrie O’Shea from goal.

In 1972 there was the Atlantian dispute in N.S.W where the Commission ordered membership to drive double Decker buses without the assistance of conductors. This dispute led to a 6-week stoppage and shortly afterwards management sold all the Atleantine buses.

In 1990 there was the MET SCRATCH-TICKET dispute when the trams were left in the middle of the city for 33 days and members in Victoria were assisted by the trade union movement, traders and people who traveled on the trams.

The Tramway Union has always been in the forefront of social justice issues:- provision of old age pensions, sickness benefits, travel for handicapped people, passes for our retired members, justice for indigenous people, insistence on equal employment rights for all races – we are one of the few unions that has almost every nationality represented in the workplace.

We have been renowned for the involvement of our members on all decision making levels, holding our own elections by attendance ballots, which has produced greater participation by the membership, and the highest level of voting of any union Australia-wide.

The Tramway Union has always had the tradition that any member is able to seek a meeting with the Secretary or any official at any time.

Our members enjoy many work related allowances, paternity, maternity and bereavement leave, etc. won by the members solidarity in industrial struggle on the job and the union officials ability to negotiate with management and through arbitration.

This has resulted in us being a very unique but militant union over the years.

These are attributes that we are happy to contribute to the Rail, Tram & Bus Union which was formed through many months of discussions on amalgamation with the Railway Unions.

We have ensured that members representation was protected in the new union and the ability of the members to participate in the RTBU at all levels has also been protected which enabled the officials to support the formation of a PUBLIC TRANSPORT UNION and have it endorsed by the membership through a ballot held in December, 1992.

The RTBU has now reached almost 48,000 members Australia-wide and has resulted in greater industrial muscle and political strength to pursue issues on behalf of the membership.

The membership in voting for the amalgamation have voted for change, and it is now taking place with the officials of the union working towards implementing our members decision and continuing the struggle to improve conditions for the members in each state.

It is with sadness but pride that I write this article for the SOUVENIR EDITION of the old TRAMWAY RECORD and a Union that has a proud history covering the past 80 years.

See also Australian Railway Songs archive and blog

US – Voices From the Women’s Marches

Voices From the Women’s Marches 

Marking the anniversary of the Women’s March in January 2017, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in major cities and small towns around the globe over the weekend, marching for women’s rights from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Pikeville, Ky., to Washington to Rome on Saturday and from Paris to London to Las Vegas, Nev. on Sunday. Photographers went to rallies for The New York Times and asked marchers what their hopes were for 2018. 

Las Vegas


“One thing I hope for women in 2018? I want us to prove that we can. ... We are here. We know we can do it now. We are here to stay.”

Lisa Paz, 36, a Pawnee/Comanche Native American from Rio Rancho, N.M., marched with her best friend, a young African-American woman. Last year, Ms. Paz marched in Washington. 

“There is power in numbers. We all have different reasons for being here, but we are all here to educate ourselves and empower each other. It is an honor to be here.”

Summer Thomad, 19, of Las Vegas, Nev., marched with her best friend. She marched last year in Las Vegas, and said she had an amazing time. “It felt like such an important moment in history,” Ms. Thomad added.

“I hope women keep coming together for positive movements in 2018.”

Shaimimi Branch, 22, of Las Vegas, Nev. was marching with her best friend. For extra credit in her women’s studies class, Ms. Branch observed and took note of the types of people attending the march, her first. 

“I hope we flood the polls, and the House turns pink, the Senate turns pink, and the White House in 2020 turns pink.”

Dorothy Engelman, 68, of Lansing, Mich., marched with a group of friends. “We’ve been through a lot together,” she added. 
Photographs by Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times



“In 2018, I want equal rights for everyone; to be noticed, to not be silenced, and not be looked at as angry when I speak up for what I want.”

Alenitu Caldart, 15, center, of Shorewood, Wis., marched with her friends and her mother. In 2017, Ms. Caldart joined the women’s march in Washington.

“I believe that women are the key to world peace and justice. I’m hoping that all women infuse their organizations with the common good, because that’s what we need for our country.”

Philip Blank, 88, of Milwaukee, marched with a painting of his late wife, Beatrice, because “she was in on the ground floor, she joined NOW as soon as she knew about it.” Last year, he marched in Madison, Wis.

“We are demanding change, and we are tired of women being put on the back burner. A woman’s place is in the White House. In 2018, we want to see more women in power.”

Natalia Renteria, 48, left, of Milwaukee, marched with her mother, Margarita Renteria, 68, of Stevens Point, Wis. Last year, Margarita marched in Madison, Wis. This was Natalia’s first march. 
Photographs by Sara Stathas for The New York Times

Pikeville, Ky.


“In 2018, we want girls to stay strong and be confident in what they can do. The more that we stand together, the more that we can do together”

Lakynn Otten, 11, left, and Ryleigh Bradley, 7, of Floyd County, Ky. They marched with their aunt.

“I hope that women fill up a whole lot of offices. That’s what it’ll take to turn this around. We need to step up to the plate and do it.”

Beverly May, 59, of Maytown, Ky., marched because “it seems like every day is an assault on my soul with what comes out in Washington.” She added, “The dismantling of our democracy and the lies and corruption and hate is oppressive.” Last year she marched in Lexington, Ky. 

“I hope for fair representation and more women in the government. I think that’s where change will happen.”

Preeti Sahasi, 43, marched with her daughter Anikaa Sharma, 7, “because women’s rights are human rights.” Ms. Sahasi marched in Pikeville in 2017. 

“I’m participating because education is the only cure for ignorance. I believe women know compassion and kindness and love and empathy more than men.”

Trenton Maughan, 26, of Paintsville, Ky., marched with his boyfriend and friends. This was his first march; he said he regretted not taking part last year. “I hated that I missed it, so I’m very happy to be here today.”
Photographs by Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Eugene, Ore.


“In 2018, I want to end this rape culture.”

Cecelia Honey, 50, of Eugene, was leading the Women’s March with Samba Ja, a Brazilian percussion ensemble.

“I want everyone to become equal. It’s like we are still living in the 1920s and it is ridiculous. We need freedom for all.”

Rebekkah Logan, 20, of Corvallis, Ore., marched with the Oregon State University women’s rugby club to “support equality for everybody.”

“I want an equal platform to stand on, and access to health care rights and reproductive choices.”

Lily Hendricks, 27, from Indiana.
Photographs by Leah Nash for The New York Times

New York


“I am marching for more peace in the world, and so that everyone has respect for each other.”

Naseem Craddock, 10, marched with his mother, Karaneh Ashourizadegan, who marched last year as well.

“We’re three generations — my mother, my daughter and me. It’s incumbent upon us as women to stand up and represent. Things are not going to change if we don’t become the instruments of change.”

Dianne Ramirez-Pezzilli, 51, center, her daughter Grace Pezzilli, 14, left, and her mother Jeanette Sullivan, 72, from Harlem. They all marched last year in New York.

“I want to connect more with women’s issues. Being a gay man, it sometimes is easy to not be surrounded by women. Just being here and seeing the people is important, and looking around at the signs. They’re amazing. You learn so much just from looking at people’s signs. And hearing people chant.”

Spencer Pond, 23, right, and MacKenzie Friedmann, 24, roommates from Astoria. Ms. Friedmann marched for the first time. “I’ve been very fortunate in my life to not really have to come up against a lot of discrimination for being a woman,” she said. “So I think it’s an amazing feat that so many people who have had such harder times than me are coming together.”
Photographs by Annie Tritt for The New York Times

Brownsville, Tex.


“I am marching because I want women to continue fighting, and for the conversation to be more inclusive of the transgender community.”

Joe Uvalles, 28, whose stage name is Beatrix and who is from Brownsville.

“I’m going to leave better humans behind. I want minorities to be treated as part of this country.”

Karla Reese, 32, left, from Brownsville, marched with her children, from center left, Marcus Reese, 4, César Bolaños, 14, Héctor Bolaños, 11, and Karla Bolaños, 16.

“I want for my daughter to eradicate the notion that it’s a man’s world. To know that women are powerful, a force to be reckoned with.”

Kristeena Banda, 36, from McAllen, Tex., marched with her daughter Mikayla Pecina, 6.
Photographs by Verónica G. Cárdenas for The New York Times

Cheyenne, Wyo.


“Wyoming is a bit behind. I would like to get to the point where men who don’t see women as equal think twice and all get on the same page.”

Rachelle Barkhurst, 33, from Laramie, Wyo., marched with the Wyoming Art Party as part of its “art in action” class. 

“Too many of us have been quiet for too long. I hope for more women in office in 2018.”

Misty, from Laramie, marched with fellow graduate students and friends.

“We need to stand up not only for our choices, but for everyone else’s choices, even if we disagree. We have to accept each other and respect each other and meet in the middle.”

Lisa Scott, 52, from Cheyenne.
Photographs by Leslie Lund for The New York Times

Huntsville, Ala.


“I hope that we won’t be treated as toys or pushed around by ‘macho’ men. I want our family to be seen as a family like any other.”

Ana Delacey, 15, left, from Guntersville, Ala., marched with her siblings and her two mothers “because of some of the horrible things our president has said about women.” 

“I chose this sign because the term ‘Angry Black Woman’ is so heavily stigmatized, and I want black women in 2018 to know they are allowed to feel the widest amount of human emotions, and that includes anger. Because anger inspires impactful change.”

Camilla Ahmed, 22, from Huntsville, marched with her friend Kaylah, right, “because injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”

“I hope that it’s no longer abnormal for a woman to run for office. I’m so tired of hearing this is the ‘first’ so and so ... and I hope they will be excellent leaders.”

Denise Cook, center, from Huntsville, marched in honor of her late husband, who marched with her in 2017. 
Photographs by Stacy Kranitz for The New York Times



“As a woman, I feel it’s my responsibility to be here. Practice the privilege you have. I came from a land where people had to die to vote. Americans can change their history by protesting.”

Awalin Sopan, 33, from Virginia, dressed as a character from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Ms. Sopan, originally from Bangladesh, became a United States citizen in 2017. 

“I’m here for myself, my beautiful girls, other women of color and women who might not have the opportunity to be here, because representation matters. We wish to remind those in power that we see and hear you, and we hold you accountable. In 2018, women need to have a place at the table. [The government] needs to hear us speak.”

Asia Davis, of Davenport, Fla., marched with her stepdaughters Zayda, Zoey and Zailey Martin. They took time before the march to read President Abraham Lincoln’s words at the Lincoln Memorial.

“We need more respect in 2018. Respect that would go toward the M.M.I.W. [missing and murdered indigenous women], the pipeline and honoring native women in the U.S. and Canada.”

Marah Rockhold, a Virginia resident, is originally from the Cayuse Nation in Warm Springs, Ore. She marched in Seattle in 2017.
Photographs by Andrea Bruce for The New York Times