Saturday, 18 April 2015

Defence manufacturing workers to strike - AMWU

It's on! The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union is moving to take protected industrial action over an insulting wage offer of just over 3% over 4 years, along with longer working hours and less leave. Talks have been going for 9 months, but as usual it appears the gov's version of negotiation means dictating what it wants.

These are the people who keep the machinery running and all. It must be said that protected industrial action takes some time to organise. About three weeks in my experience. First you have to have a secret ballot as to whether you want to strike or not. Then you have to have a mass meeting and vote on a day to strike. These aren't wild cat strikes, but a last resort to get the gov back to the negotiating table. All done in accordance with the law.

Unfortunately this gov couldn't organise it's way out of a wet paper bag :s
AMWU members in Defence have joined an army of Australian public servants revolting against the Abbott Government by voting this week to trigger their right to take protected industrial action against proposed wage cuts. 

Members turned their sights on the Federal Coalition after talks broke down with Defence Department bureaucrats, who could do no better than offer a pathetic 3.16 per cent pay rise, effectively over four years. 

Any value would be more than offset by two days lost leave each year and a working week 30 minutes longer. 

Disruption of vital work which keeps the military’s defence equipment ready for action now looms, the latest hit to Employment Minister Eric Abetz and his Cabinet colleagues who have picked an ideological fight on all fronts of the public service. 

Members vented their fury by endorsing 10 options including bans and strike action, all receiving at least 87 per cent backing. 

The vote came a week after Defence Minister Kevin Andrews announced a major restructure of the department, including absorption of the Defence Materiel Organisation with a loss of 1000 jobs. 

“No one in their right mind would accept this pay offer and if the Government thinks they can implement massive structural change in Defence without the co-operation of their workforce, they are delusional,” said AMWU Assistant National Secretary Mike Nicolaides. 

“You can’t treat your expert workforce like dirt then expect them to cooperate with change which the First Principles Review admitted would require a major cultural shift to implement.” 

A hook-up of senior delegates and officials will decide next week on appropriate action. more

Friday, 17 April 2015

Australia ranks 51st in world for affordable housing

That includes renting or buying. I still don't understand how Housing can say to us that half our meager earnings in rent is affordable. Anyway this new study has ascertained that Australia ranks a miserable 51st in the world for housing affordability.
However, Lynne Pezzullo, lead partner of health economics and social policy at the accounting firm Deloitte, said Australia only ranks 19th in the world when it comes to shelter and 51st in terms of housing affordability.

"Access to affordable housing is a key issue and Australia is not doing particularly well in that area, even though we have very low interest rates at the moment," Ms Pezzullo told AM.

"But importantly it's our housing pricing and our access into the housing market, both in terms of rent and also in terms of purchase, which are driving the poor performance we have in that area."

Ms Pezzullo said deepening worries about housing and basic shelter have potential psychological impacts that could ultimately lead to suicide.

"There's a link between housing affordability and homelessness and then through to domestic violence and suicide rates," Ms Pezzullo said.

"Australia performs particularly poorly relative to other countries in relation to our high suicide rates." more  


Gov admits fault for starving man to death - UK

It happened in David Cameron's electorate too.


This man was assessed as capable of work by the gov, despite his doctor not being contacted at all by anyone about it. Is this what Abbott wants here? They cut him off everything except a 40pound disability amount. Which is weird in itself, I mean how can he be deemed fit for work but still be paid disability?

Without enough money for rent and utilities even, he starved to death 4 months after the benefits were cut. The gov has now admitted it was wrong to cut him off. 
Mark died at his home in Bampton – part of David Cameron’s Oxfordshire constituency – in August last year. 

He had Asperger syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder, in addition to cognitive behavioural problems, including a phobia of certain foods. 

His GP Nicolas Ward told Oxford coroners court: "He was an extremely fragile individual who was coping with life. 

"Something pushed him or affected him in the time before he died and the only thing I can put my finger on is the pressure he felt when his benefits were removed.” 

Dr Ward added that he had not been contacted by Atos – the France-based firm that carries out benefit assessments – or the Department for Work and Pensions about his patient’s medical history. 

He told the court that, had he been asked, he would have ruled him unfit for work. Following last April’s assessment, Mark, described as “gentle and sweet”, lost his housing benefit and employment support, leaving him just £40 a week disability allowance – not even enough to cover his rent or utility bills. more  

Car fixit shop owner says no gays welcome - US

I think I'm starting to see a pattern here. Business goes on telly making completely outrageous comments about gays. Cops internet backlash, Cries for support at the intensity of hate he's lit the fuse of. Gets lots of money donated to him? The last bit is just a guess but I wouldn't be surprised.

Seriously, business is business. WTF has sexuality got to do with running a business? Does he think he has to preach to people about his version of what's right and wrong as well as fix people's cars?

Probably in the closet darlings.


Liver results showing improvement

Went and got blood taken a couple of days ago as the doctor wanted to see how it the old liver was going. It was in rather bad shape a month ago, diagnosed as a fatty liver. I read that that was quite common and caused by bad food and/or alcohol.

He emailed me yesterday with good news. No it's not back to normal but the improvement is enough to be "encouraging". Between the lines that's doctor talk for "it's improved markedly but I'm not saying that in case you celebrate and have beers".

Replied that I was never overly worried about it. My liver is one thing that's very strong and has recovered well from dramas in the past.  

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Senate corporate tax enquiry in full - Apple, Google, Microsoft grilled


I finally found a YouTube video with the lot. I never saw it the other day, don't watch that ghastly television anymore, just what we download of interest to us. But yes I have found the whole thing online, apparently riveting TV. Watch for a whole one and a half hours whilst Apple, Google, and Microsoft are grilled by the senate about their tax avoidance in Australia. 


About a third of the way through. So far I've learned from the corporations that me as a pensioner has to cop their non payment of tax to fund my pension, because corporate competition.

That these tech companies are doing a marvelous job technically so they shouldn't pay tax like the rest of us :s

That because Apple is a "distribution company" they don't need to pay tax like we do (in my case did). 

About here the rest of this is about the last half:

That because they're a US based company they don't need to pay tax like the rest of us.

That they turn up to a senate inquiry without details of their tax arrangements and say they're not "tax experts". FFS the senators apparently know more about their tax arrangements than them.

That Christine Milne of the Greens knows her shit. 

That the revenue from Australia is taxed in Singapore, which has lower taxes. 

Evidently Microsoft Australia, Singapore, and Ireland are "not related"

Apple Australia is owned by Apple Ireland.

The Google lady doesn't know about Bermuda. 

The Apple guy reckons everything is "very transparent"

I learned I dunno WTF they mean by "arms length". 

The Google lady needs the OECD to help her company pay the correct tax.

The US Microsoft guy looks stunned at the intelligence of the Australian senate, like a dear caught in headlights. 

Google books all revenue through Singapore and doesn't report it to the Australian Taxation Office. 

Because Australian multi-nationals are doing it too makes it all OK. 

You go into a local store and buy Microsoft office, all the money goes to Singapore.

They have to pay wages for distribution (oh the humanity!). 

Their products are complex bla. Sounds like Big Pharma to me.

It happens throughout the OECD so it's OK. 

In  summary, they bloody hung themselves out to dry baby :)


"Top 7 worst corporate human rights abusers" - Australia

I've gotten behind in observing all my YouTube channels. Hence this string of videos today. Normal programming will resume as soon as possible.


Tax haven sandwiches - Shaun Micallef :)

Lieberal carbon aucton - First dog on the moon :)

Greedy tax dodging multi-national corporations ripping us off

All three of these people in this discussion agree that these assholes should pay their fuckin tax! (BTW watch an ABC video about the senate investigation into corporate tax evasion from the Lateline program here A must watch).


Greens UK election video

The UK elections have been announced. I dunno a lot about British politics but it's looking like the same sort of austerity bullshit Abbott and co are trying to shove down our throats (in harmony?). The Greens over there however look to be gaining support. This is an add they've put out for the election.


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Halal food certification does NOT fund terrorism - ABC fact check

To all those who may be having a personal crisis over Halal certification, you'll be pleased to know it doesn't fund terrorism. Here we have it explained in very simple terms by ABC's fact check:


Nauru guards in photo with Pauline Hansen - WTF?

These are guards from the Nauru gulag asylum seeker detention centre. They are supposed to be culturally sensitive. This picture was taken at the bullshit "reclaim Australia" rallies held recently. Perhaps it's time for Australia to "ditch the witch"?

They have also been involved in social media racism. Whoever these people are, they do not belong at Nauru in charge of vulnerable refugees. The private company that employed has since suspended them over their use of social media.
Eight guards from Nauru detention centre have been suspended over a possible breach of their employer’s social media guidelines. 

The members of the “emergency response team” at Nauru, who were hired on the basis of their cultural “sensitivity”, have been stood down pending an investigation into their social media use. 

Some promoted the Reclaim Australia movement and some posted anti-Islam slurs online. 

The Nauru guards also posed with Pauline Hanson, the controversial former federal MP and One Nation founder who has long called for immigration restrictions, after she spoke at the rally in Brisbane on 4 April. 

A former employee for Transfield subcontractor Wilson Security told Guardian Australia the guards’ online posts provided a glimpse of the mindset of ex-defence force personnel who “frequently referred to asylum seekers in their care as ‘the enemy’ ”. 

This included Facebook posts of material comparing Islam to Nazism, accusing companies from Cadbury to Krispy Kreme of supporting terrorism by having products certified as Halal, and the embrace of the slogan “infidels” through T-shirts and tattoos. more

A lovely animation about gay weddings :)

David and want to get married of course. We won't be going to New Zealand to do it. I don't think I could stand the place knowing I was on the same island as my brother.

QLD to remove "gay manic" defence for murder

Queensland is finally going to get rid of it's "gay panic" defence, which is still on the books up there as a defence against murdering a gay person. What it basically says is that homophobes who are so abhorred by gayness can murder a gay person if the gay person makes sexual advances towards them. 

It happened in 2010 (picture above of the crime scene) where two blokes murdered a gay in a church courtyard, subsequently having the charges dropped to manslaughter by using the "gay panic" defence. The Father of the church premises took up the cause to get this bullshit gay panic defence out of the law books. That cause has finally come to fruition under the new Queensland gov. 
The Queensland Government is taking steps to ensure a homosexual advance is no longer considered provocation for murder, while also looking at expunging historical convictions for homosexual sex, righting wrongs in Queensland's past which have stood for decades. 

The homosexual advance defence, more commonly referred to as the gay panic defence, is a rare but usable legal defence under Queensland law. 

It allows defendants to claim they were provoked into killing because of an alleged homosexual advance, by claiming it drove them into temporary insanity, reducing what could be a murder conviction to one of manslaughter. 

It was last used in 2010 by Jason Andrew Pearce, who was charged with murdering Wayne Robert Ruks in a Maryborough churchyard in 2008. 

He was found guilty of manslaughter and released on parole after serving four years of a nine year sentence. 

A co-accused, Richard John Meerdink, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and will become eligible for parole next year. 

Following the court case Father Paul Kelly, who ran the church next to where Mr Ruks was killed, began a campaign to abolish the use of the homosexual advance defence. It has so far been unsuccessful. more