||Issue No. 324||15 September 2006|
Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
Unions: Industrial Wasteland
International: Two Bob's Worth
Economics: National Interest
Environment: The Real Dinosaur
History: Only In Spain?
Review: Clerk Off
Child's Play: New Low for Spooks
The accusations were levelled by a Brisbane man who retaliated by forming a Workers Civil Rights Committee.
The committee's inaugural public meeting drew more than 500 supporters to the city's Irish Club, last Friday, to hear speakers denounce the Howard Government's assault on human rights.
Former corporate lawyer, Julian Burnside, CFMEU national secretary, Dave Noonan, and Griffith University Professor, David Peetz, addressed the rally.
The committee will provide solidarity to workers under attack from draconian new laws, organise "community pickets", and promote a civil rights agenda.
Bulders Labourers Union organiser, Bob Carnegie, was a driving force behind its establishment.
"The arrowhead of the attack on Australian civil rights is the Howard Government's campaign against trade union members," Carnegie said.
"That's why we have the support of lawyers and many people outside the organised labour movement.
"When workers are under these attacks our committee will run community protests on their behalf. They can sue us for all they want and they will get four fifths of bugger all."
Carnegie said "outrageous" Building Industry Commission behaviour highlighted the need for a broad response.
He accused Commission officers, in Brisbane, of grilling a six-year-old child about his father's union activities, and of standing over a sub-contractor to prevent a man getting a job.
Carnegies said the first incident occurred, last month, when a union activist took personal leave to care for his ill six-year-old.
Two male Commission officers arrived on the family's southern Brisbane doorstep the same afternoon and proceeded to quiz the youngster about his health and how long his father had been home.
"They put the questions to the kid before approaching our member," Carnegies said. "When they approached our member they were told he wanted union representation and show the door."
Carnegie said the other event involved him, personally, after a delegate asked if he knew of any work that might be available for a relation.
Carnegie said he approached a "reputable" sub-contractor and was stunned when the employer rang back to say he had been visited by Commission officers who wanted to know if he was being "stood over" to give employment to a union member.
"The subbie got spooked, understandably, and decided not to employ a decent human being who needed a job," Carnegie said.
Carnegie confronted the Commission, in person, about that incident and said they refused to offer a defence.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|