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Boeing workers are on strike

category indonesia / philippines / australia | workplace struggles | other libertarian press author Monday April 14, 2008 21:37author by Union Solidarityauthor email contact at unionsolidarity dot org Report this post to the editors

In Melbourne, Australia

Over 700 Boeing workers are currently on strike at Fishermans Bend Port Melbourne. Members of the AMWU (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union) face the sharp end of Howard’s old Workchoices laws.

Dear Supporters

Please read and print (the attached leaflet) and pass on the following about striking AMWU members at Boeing, Fishermans Bend.

This dispute is the first major test of the IR laws since the election of the new government.

Yours in Solidarity

Union Solidarity

=================================================================== Over 700 Boeing workers are currently on strike at Fishermans Bend Port Melbourne. Members of the AMWU (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union) face the sharp end of Howard’s old Workchoices laws. The Federal Court is set to impose possible fines and injunctions against rank and file workers on Monday 14th of April.

Boeing management provoked the dispute on Monday April 7th by sacking a union member and suspending another. Workers hold fears that another 8 workers could also face suspension or dismissal in the near future. Rather than follow the agreed dispute settlement procedure in the EBA (Enterprise Bargaining Agreement) Boeing have insisted that they have a legal right to do as they please.

Workers were faced with a choice, support their fellow workers by taking industrial action or do nothing about the unfair treatment. This situation highlights the basic injustice of the industrial relations regime in Australia. A company can act in contempt of existing agreements by sacking workers. However when workers are forced to take industrial action to defend basic conditions and rights they are the ones who are considered to be in contempt of the legal system and face fines.

Union members at Boeing definitely feel their only protection is the EBA and the Award. As one worker put it “80 years of proud manufacturing history has been reduced to a IR war zone.” It should be remembered that Boeing have received generous amount of taxpayers money and yet they act like this.

What’s at stake?

A union supporter on the picket said, “Workers spontaneously took action to support their mates, that action has to be supported.” If unionism is to mean anything surely is it that we support each other when required. Union members at Boeing need the support of the greater union movement now! Millions of us took to the streets to get rid of Workchoices. We got rid of Howard but employers are still using Workchoices to impose their will on us.

We all have a choice. To stand by and do nothing while these workers face the full force of the law or to find a way to support Boeing workers who are making a stand against corporate dictatorship and unjust laws.

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