||Issue No. 303||21 April 2006|
Interview: Head On
Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
Industrial: Vital Signs
Economics: Taxing Times
Environment: It Ain’t Necessarily So
History: Melbourne’s Hours
Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
Review: Pollie Fiction
Poetry: The Cabal
The Locker Room
Lying Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them II
What Tax Cuts?
Belly Says It’s Time
A Word Of Warning Stop
Well That Clears That Up Then
Letters to the Editor
This afternoon a Victorian trade union colleague mailed me an envelope containing 50 leaflets for the Workers & Community National Day of Protest Wednesday 28 June. The leaflets were produced the Victorian Trades Hall Council, featuring the ACTU logo. The leaflets advertise the National Day of Protest on June 28 beginning at 10am. It calls on workers and the community to assemble at one of four locations and march to city centre. In inspiring bold red print it reads, "Together we are unbreakable!"
Once again, our Victorian trade union colleagues have the jump on us by distributing posters and leaflets two months before the Day of Protest. This is one reason why they were able to mobilise over 100 000 people for the 2005 November 15 rally.
Sadly, very few people in NSW are even aware of the June 28 National Day of Protest. Indeed as I write this letter, there is a debate amongst Union NSW affiliates to decide whether or not there will be protest action on June 28. Given the recent sackings you would expect Unions NSW to jump at the opportunity to organise another November 15 style protest.
Unfortunately there are sections of the union leadership trying to restrict our campaign to a „Just Vote ALP‰ strategy. If Beazley‚s popularity and performance is any indication, we are doomed. There‚s no guarantee that a future Labor government will repeal the legislation unless the union movement keeps campaigning to defeat the legislation on the ground. Even if the ALP is elected, if there hasn't been enough of an industrial campaign and mass protests all an ALP government will do is to merely ameliorate the worst aspects of the legislation.
Many agree we need a national stoppage to signal to employers and the government that they will face industrial action if they attempt to use the new anti-union laws.
Especially in the weaker workplaces, workers will need the confidence to resist the use of the new laws by their employers. This is needed to overcome the sentiment amongst some workers that the campaign is over and that there‚s nothing they can do until the next elections. Howard hopes the union movement won‚t organise a national stoppage or mass protests.
Members should pass motions that call on Unions NSW to organise a Workers & Community Day of Protest on June 28 and call their unions to find out what they are doing. As the Victorian's are saying, "Together we are unbreakable!"
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