Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Work Choice Howard's achilles heel

The working people of Australia, spearheaded by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), have been fighting a bitter battle with the John Howard's hard-line neo-liberal government for years. Howard, cut from the same cloth as George Bush in the US, has been anti-labor, pro-war, pro-deregulation and pro-tax-cut.

These policies have created the same conditions in Australia as they have everywhere else, namely increased wealth polarization, reduced workers rights and a destruction of civil society.

But now it looks like people are finally waking up to the truth. The ACTU and many others have been campaigning to stop Howard and remove him from office. Their Your Rights at Work campaign (YRAW or YR@W) has, through a massive grassroots effort, put the Howard administration on its heels.

The Howard government won a legal bid yesterday to suppress secret Work Choices documents, saying the release of the papers would lead to speculation that the coalition planned a new wave of workplace changes.

A spokesman for the prime minister told News Ltd last night that the documents could not be released because "the majority of them were cabinet documents".


Rudd can't fathom why Work Choices documents suppressed. Sydney Morning Herald. 20-Nov-2007.
And more on the ACTU campaign:
Grassroots activism has sullied the Work Choices brand; now it stands to topple the Government.


In marginal seats around Australia, the Your Rights At Work logo, YR@W, is more conspicuous than the Labor Party banner. It appears on so many T-shirts and placards that it threatens to depose Che Guevara as the new emblem of activism and resistance. There are 46 groups around NSW and John Robertson, the secretary of Unions NSW who devised the blueprint for the grassroots campaign, believes they will revive the labour movement.

"They're the future of unions," Robertson says. "Over the past 20 years we got very complacent and lost members. But these groups are made up of locals, not blow-ins. They're the same people you see running chocolate wheels at school fetes.

"Even if Rudd gets in and overturns Work Choices, these groups won't disappear. I don't know, or even care, if they get involved in party politics, but we will have trained future community leaders, who will be able to fight on issues like transport, infrastructure, schools and housing."


West, Andrew. Peoples front is in full swing. Sydney Morning Herald. 17-Nov-2007.

No comments:

Post a Comment