Fwd (GLW): Stuff about Unions in Victoria

Alan Bradley abradley1 at bigpond.com
Thu Aug 22 10:57:10 MDT 2002

>From Green Left Weekly, August 21, 2002.

Victorian AMWU members resist CamerOn coup
MELBOURNE - On August 12, Denis Matson, one of the two national industrial
officers for the printing division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers
Union was summarily sacked by AMWU national secretary Doug CamerOn, and
given one hour to pack up his desk and vacate the AMWU's Melbourne building.
Matson was not given the opportunity to answer the charges against him.

Just a few days earlier, on August 8, a metals division organiser from
Tasmania, Greg Cooper, was sacked and given two hours to vacate the AMWU

The sackings appear to be part of a pattern of attacks on AMWU officials who
disagree with CamerOn, beginning with the national council's suspension of
Craig Johnston from the position of AMWU Victorian secretary on July 9.

As if this was not enough, that national council meeting also voted to
overturn the July 8 decision of the Victorian state council that Victorian
food and confectionery division secretary Bronwyn Halfpenny would be acting
state secretary in the event of Johnston being absent from the position. The
national council voted to appoint former national industrial officer Dave
Oliver as administrator of the branch instead.

Both Halfpenny and Johnston are part of the militant Workers First faction
in the AMWU.

< The remainder of the article can be found at:
http://www.greenleft.org.au/current/505p3.htm >

Socialist Alliance
Solidarity with Craig Johnston
MELBOURNE - The Socialist Alliance is organising a public meeting in
solidarity with the elected Victorian leader of the Australian Manufacturing
Workers Union Craig Johnston and the "Skilled Six" on September 2 at Trades
The Skilled Six are a group of AMWU officials and members who have been
charged over an alleged incident of vandalism at the labour-hire firm
Skilled Engineering.

Justine Kamprad, an AMWU women's committee member and speaker at the
meeting, told Green Left Weekly that "attacks on militant unions have
reached a fever pitch in Victoria - from the federal government's royal
commission into the building industry to the attacks on the Workers First
leadership of the Victorian AMWU - so it's important that unionists say
enough is enough".

Craig Johnston will be the featured speaker. Other speakers will include:
Michelle O'Neil, Victorian secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear
Union; Martin Kingham, Victorian secretary of the construction division of
the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union; Dean Mighell, Victorian
secretary of the Electrical Trades Union; and maritime union and Socialist
Alliance activist Chris Cain.

Union militants join Socialist Alliance
MELBOURNE - The Socialist Alliance campaign to win electoral registration in
Victoria is attracting significant support from militant trade unionists.
More than 70 union militants have joined the alliance since August 11.
"The Socialist Alliance has campaigned solidly against the attacks on
workers' rights", Jackie Lynch, Socialist Alliance candidate for Northcote
and an electrical trades apprentice, told Green Left Weekly. "We have been
vocal opponents of the dodgy royal commission into the building industry and
of the attempts to oust Craig Johnston and the Workers First leadership of
the Victorian branch of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union."

Around 40 trade unionists - mostly members of the Construction, Forestry,
Mining and Energy Union - joined the Socialist Alliance at the August 12
rally against the royal commission. On August 14, a further 30 unionists
joined at a CFMEU delegates' meeting at Trades Hall and at a rally outside
the AMWU offices in Elizabeth Street.

[To assist with the Socialist Alliance registration campaign, phone (03)
9639 8622 or visit <www.socialist-alliance.org>.]

Socialist Alliance WA conference
PERTH - Around 40 people attended the Socialist Alliance state conference on
August 14. Since the launch of the WA electoral registration campaign, more
than 100 people have joined the alliance.
Campaigning for refugees' rights and against the impending war on Iraq were
discussed. Both Fremantle and Perth Socialist Alliance branches decided to
organise anti-war public meetings in late September. The meeting also
decided to produce newsletters every two months. To find out more about
Perth and Fremantle Socialist Alliance activities, phone (08) 9218 9608.

CamerOn sics lawyers on to GLW
At 2.30pm on August 7, Green Left Weekly received an email from Taylor &
Scott, lawyers acting on behalf of Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
national secretary Doug CamerOn, in which they demanded that an article in
GLW #502 entitled "CamerOn strips AMWU state branches of power" be removed
from the GLW web site by 10am on August 8, and that a retraction and apology
be published on the web site.

The email implied that failure to comply could lead to legal action being

< The remainder of the article can be found at:
http://www.greenleft.org.au/current/505p7.htm >

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