Australia: Launch of rebel union, Unite, hits headlines

The launch in Melbourne at the week-end of ’Unite’ – a new union for fast food and retail workers – has received huge publicity in Australia.

It came in for a major attack by a Federal minister on a widely watched evening news commentary programme – ’Lateline’. Making a forceful case in its defence on the same programme were Anthony Maine of the Socialist Party (CWI, Australia) and also an ’impartial’ academic who said it was just what was needed!

’Unite’, the union, has grown out of a campaign for casual workers’ rights.

Started in 2003, its most notable activities have been the High Street ’name and shame’ campaign and the fight to unionise Borders Books in Melbourne.

To find out more about the launch of this union and the publicity it has had, see

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May 2006