Tuesday, 9 September 2008

No co-operation with the ABCC!

Dear Comrades,

These new penal laws that the ABCC rely on have been around for over two years and nearly 12 months of the current Government. Now there is a real risk that workers will start going to gaol for being unionist and organising workers. I think it's time to start putting words into action. Now is the time to decide which side you're on.

I am standing beside Noel Washington and pledging no cooperation with the ABCC.

These are bad laws and are only designed to weaken the union movement and conditions for workers. I cannot support a Government that supports these laws and allows workers to be dragged before the courts for being unionist.

Please sign up and let the Government know we are serious. There can be only one outcome to this and that is workers win the right to organise the way we want to. Not the way that makes the bosses and the Government happy.

We are not slaves and our organisers are not criminals.

Yours in Solidarity
Tim Gooden
Secretary Geelong Trades Hall Council

Labor Omnia Vincit

Text of sign-on statement:

No co-operation with the ABCC

The Australian Building and Construction Commission is an ideologically driven organisation and was set up by the Howard Coalition government in October 2005 to destroy the effectiveness of the unions in the building industry. These unions have led the way in setting benchmark wages and standards of health and safety that have benefitted all working Australians. The ABCC operates like a police force with extensive coercive powers and secret investigations. There is no right to silence- refusing to attend hearings or answer questions can lead to a six-month jail sentence.

The ABCC's predecessor, the Building Industry Task Force, was set up after the $60 million Cole Royal Commission into the building industry. Contrary to the claims of some bosses and media, the Commission found that there is no "endemic lawlessness" perpetrated by the unions in the building industry. We are asking for nothing more than what employers already have; the right to meet with our members and representatives, before, during and after work and the right to defend our working conditions.

Penalising unions for representing workers' rights using hefty fines and threats of imprisonment has to STOP NOW. If the powers of the ABCC remain all Australian workers will have their right to organise and seek representation in a union undermined.

We, the undersigned refuse to cooperate with the ABCC and to pay fines imposed. We are inspired by the fine example set by CFMEU member Noel Washington in refusing to bow to the ABCC's intimidation. We pledge support for all union officials and members who are subject to the ABCC's powers.

We call on all unions to join a campaign of industrial action if any unionist is convicted for not cooperating with the ABCC


Dare to struggle - dare to win! If you don’t fight, you lose!

  • Download sign-on statement and return, with signatures, to: GTHC, 127 Myers St, Geelong. Tel 03-52211712, or 0438 088 112 and fax 03-52231115.
  • See ACTU's television ad opposing the ABCC
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