|Issue No 118||02 November 2001|
Unionists Barred Entry to Australia
The Australian Government's refusal to supply entry visas to two international union officials seeking to attend the International Metalworkers' Federation's (IMF) 30th World Congress being held in Sydney, in November may be for political reasons, congress organisers fear.
Martha Hansen-Sackey, a Congress Delegate from Ghana, has been denied a visa by the Australian High Commission in Lagos. Hansen-Sackey is expecting to attend the IMF World Congress as the representative of the Women's Committee from the West Africa region.
Napoleon Kpoh, the General Secretary of her union, the Industrial & Commercial Workers' Union, said today that the Australian High Commission had given no reason for rejecting Hansen-Sackey's visa application.
``The Australian High Commission in Lagos did not give any explanation as to their reason for rejecting her visa. In fact they did not add any letter of explanation, the passport was returned with a rejection stamp with no word of reasoning behind the decision,'' said Napoleon Kpoh.
Daniel Ndoum, a Delegate from Cameroun, has also has been denied a visa, although no further details of his rejected visa application are available at the current time.
The IMF congress will formulate a strategy to tackle the growing issue of economic globalisation, the main challenge facing the trade union movement worldwide.
Julius Roe, National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) and Delegate to the IMF World Congress said today that he feared that the rejection of Martha Hansen-Sackey's visa application may be for political reasons and has called on the Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddick to provide an explanation.
`` I am writing today to the Immigration Minister to demand an explanation for why these delegates have been denied entry. In Africa, unions are extremely limited in their rights to fight for working people, and if the Australian Government has denied Hansen-Sackey the right of entry into Australia for political reasons, then they are no better than the draconian anti-union governments of Africa,'' Mr Roe said.
``No such obstacles have been put in the way of Delegates attending from Europe, so we call on the Government to allow Martha Hansen-Sackey the right to enter Australia. She has every right to be here so that she can represent women from West Africa and participate in the global discussions on how we can improve the lives of workers,'' Mr Roe said.
The IMF is one of the biggest unions in the world, representing 23 million workers from 101 countries. Every four years the IMF holds an international congress, bringing together delegates from around the world to discuss, debate and vote on the activities of the IMF. This years' World Congress is being held in Sydney from 11-14 November 2001.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Australian Workers Union (AWU) and the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) are all Australian Affiliates to the IMF and will be participating in the IMF World Congress.
The Workers United, Need a New Slogan!
Meanwhile, the organisers of a major international rally to coincide with the IMG Congress are globalisation are seeking inspiration for some 21st century chants.
With a major street d4eomnsatration planned, organsiers want to go beyond the usual lines of "the workers united ..." and "whatta we want ..."
The AMWU, AWU, CEPU along with all the major unions, community, social, environmental and religious organisations are marching to support global justice, fair trade and to oppose any new WTO agreements at Qatar on Tuesday November 13.
The rally coincides with the International Metalworkers Federation World Congress in Sydney. 1000 union delegates from all over the world will lead the march.
Info on the rally and a list of supporters is at http://www.sydneyrally.org.
"We need new, good and loud chants that will be heard and remembered," the AMWU's Natasha Holmes says. "They have to be short, catchy and relevant!"
The best chants will be printed up and distributed to be used in the rally. A final selection will be posted on Workers Online and the sydneyrally website.
Interview: Flying High
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet on saving Ansett jobs, defeating Howard and wooing a new generation of unionists.
Corporate: Howard's List of Shame
ACTU President Shaharn Burrow runs through the litany of corporate collapses and down-sizes that have cut a swathe through the Australian community.
Campaign Diary: Week Four: The Battle Lines Drawn
It was a week that saw the leaders launch their campaigns, kiss lots of babies and battle for space with a Holy Jihad.
Industrial: Desperately Seeking Solutions
They might not call it 'industrial relations' in the spin of modern politics, but all the major parties have released plans that will affect the way we work over the next three years.
Economics: Manufacturing Prosperity
Neale Towart looks at the hidden debate of the election campaign - the degree of intervention government should take through Industry Policy.
History: War And Politics
The Conservatives are trying to wage war and win the election. The pundits say itís a tried and true recipe for electoral success. The 1940 federal poll suggests otherwise.
International: Globalising Labour
On the eve of the International Metalworkers Federation Congress general secretary Marcello Malentacchi argues all nations need to retain a manufacturing base.
Review: Security - Who Needs it?
What does it mean to be secure? Should we even need to ask? In his new book, Anthony Burke asks the tough questions.
Satire: Locksmith Promises "Greater Security" If Elected
A Melbourne locksmith has agreed to run for federal parliament, campaigning on the key issue of security.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005