27 June 2009

showing their true colours

Good to see Family First's Steve Fielding and Nick Xenophon showing their true colours. Julia Gillard wanted some regulations to be passed to curb some of the excesses of the ABCC, including their coercive interview powers. Those two bit players teamed up with the gaggle called the Coalition to defeat these changes in the Senate.

And once again the ALP only have themselves to blame for getting Steve Fielding elected in the first place. Absolute morons.

20 June 2009

Solidarity with Iran

Iran is a country going through massive upheaval at the moment. Mass protests, murders. It is a country not far from mass suppression of its people.

I'm not surprised, unfortunately. Trade unionists have been jailed, tortured and worse in this country. All this for merely wanting to exercise their right to collectively organise. Mansour Osanlou has been imprisoned multiple times and is currently in Evin Prison. He dared to be the leader of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company - unions are illegal in Iran.

I encourage people to get involved in any way they can to encourage democracy, human rights be respected in Iran.

15 June 2009

Without fear or favour - give me a break Kevin

Recently Kevin Rudd reiterated how little he cares for unions (but will take their money of course) and how out of touch he was. Talking on Melbourne radio station 3AW he stated new laws to replace the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) would be implemented "without fear or favour" even if that meant a union official going to jail.

Here's the problem I and many others have with that.Rudd is implementing laws which have fear and favour as a central element to them. They favour employers in the construction industry and keep the fear going for workers. Rudd has sided with big business and organised capital and given them a "tough cop on the beat" which has powers akin to treating construction workers like terrorists.

It's also appalling to see former union officials run to Rudd's defence like the gutless wonders they are. Where's the champion of the Your Rights at Work campaign Greg Combet? Probably trying to remember which safe seat he was parachuted into. And where's Bill Shorten, the hero of the mine collapse in Tasmania? Too busy keeping his right-wing business buddies within the ALP happy.

Unions do need to re-examine their relationship with the ALP. But that's for another blog...

05 June 2009

2009 ACTU Congress

Well this blogger just had the pleasure of visiting the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for the 2009 ACTU Congress (and what an impressive venue it was, I might add). The three days were rather dry at times and it was good to finally put a face to some of the names I know so well - Joe de Bruyn looks gawkier than I thought he would.

There was nothing overly controversial about the Congress - that was until Julia Gillard gave her speech. In a clearly provocative move designed for the packed media she goaded the congress delegates with her comments as to why the ABCC needed to stay. It got the expected response from the crowd, which included Ark Tribe, the CFMEU member being prosectuted by the ABCC for refusing to attend an interview. He faces six months jail for his "heinous" crime.

I joined in the booing of the Deputy Prime Minister - her words were insulting to decent, fair minded Australians who believe in basic rights for all people. The right to silence is fundamental in western democracies. Ark Tribe has not been accused of murder, violence or intimidation. He attended a meeting with management over safety standards at the Flinders University site he was working at.The ABCC was interested because workers were standing up for themselves over appalling safety standards Why does the ABCC have powers to prosecute people for a criminal offence when they refuse to attend interviews dealing with prosecutions over civil matters? Why have they not prosecuted one employer for non-payment of wages?