Saturday’s socialist speak out
Oh, there’s class war going on alright. Labor’s war on workers for the bosses continues unabated.
Just this week Labor set up a system on the docks which will allow them to sack unionists and militants under the guise of ‘suspected’ criminal activity. They have extended the logic of the anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission to the ports.
And Labor has now done a deal with Gina Rinehart, the richest woman in the world, to allow 1700 workers from overseas to build her mine at Roy Hill.
We need to be careful not to slip in to racism and xenophobia over this. That is the approach ALP left winger and Senator Doug Cameron is taking, counterposing Chinese workers to Australian workers. He said:
The very week when workers are being given their marching orders out of a job at Kurri Kurri [aluminium smelter in New South Wales] and Tullamarine, 1700 Chinese workers are given the go-ahead to march into Western Australia.
Actually the overseas workers can come from any country, not just China. And they can only be employed if Australians cannot be found for the jobs. I know the bosses will abuse that but to conjure up racist images of Chinese workers marching into Australia is the desperate cry of a political and industrially bankrupt politician and unionist on a path to nowhere.
Doug Cameron’s world of class collaboration is collapsing around him as the bosses’ demons he and his ilk unleashed consume him. So instead of class struggle to defend jobs he raises race as the defining issue. Shame, Doug Cameron, shame.
The unions are painting it in terms of saving Aussie jobs threatened by foreign workers. This is divisive nonsense. We are workers, no matter which country we come from. The enemy are the mining maggots like Gina Rinehart, BHP, Twiggy Forrest, XSTRATA, Clive Palmer and Rio Tinto.
To attack foreign workers is to lose that point and imagine these bastards care about jobs. They don’t. They only care about profits. During the GFC they sacked 15% of their workforce.
But there is a reason for opposing this deal. It is clearly aimed at de-unionising the workforce. It means that the workforce loses unionised industrial strength at important projects. This weakens the unions overall and their ability to extract better wages and conditions and enforce safety standards across the mining industry.
Standing with the overseas workers, not against them, and fighting for them and their rights (including union membership and permanent residency) would offer a better chance to improve conditions for all workers in Australia.
At the same time Labor is attacking unions, trade union bureaucrats are warning of the dangers of an Abbott government. It will be a bastard Government, because unions have done nothing to fight the current one.
The way to fight Abbott is to strike against Gillard. It is the barbarians at the gate who are paving the way for the barbarians coming over the hill.
But lesser evilism will see these unionists argue for a vote for Gillard Labor at the same time that government does the work of a future Abbott government. Is there an alternative? Yes. Strike.
Right now Labor plans to get rid of 4200 public servants, with another 4000 the year after and 4000 the year after.
Fight those sackings now to stop Abbott and Hockey sacking 12,000 in year one.
The Vice-Chancellor at the Australian National University is sacking all the workers in the School of Music. The University’s Council, whom some staff had very high hopes in, has, unsurprisingly, come out fully in support of the VC, Chainsaw Young. Only industrial action can save the School of Music and its staff.
Workers at Kurri Kurri are losing their jobs. Take over the smelter.
Last year Baiada workers set up a pocket for 13 days and won significant wage increases and much better conditions.
Victorian workers took on the Baillieu Government and its attacks on their wages and conditions. They defied orders to return to work. They won.
This week, over 3000 workers at BHP-Mitsubishi Alliance coal mines in the Bowen Basin have gone on strike for seven days against the bosses stalling over wage and other negotiations. That’s the way forward.
Stop pussyfooting around. Fight.
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