[Marxism] Re Freed militant unionist wants PM ousted

Pip Hinman & Peter Boyle ppz at greenleft.org.au
Thu May 26 01:49:09 MDT 2005

Socialist Alliance statement May 26, 2005:

Craig Johnston, welcome back to the struggle!

Socialist Alliance today welcomed one of its most prominent members, 
former Victorian AMWU state secretary Craig Johnston, back to freedom 
and to the looming struggle against the Howard government’s industrial 
relations laws.

Sue Bolton, a national trade union coordinator for Socialist Alliance, 
said Johnston’s release yesterday from Victoria’s Loddon Prison had 
“given back the union movement one of its most important generals when 
he is most needed”.
“With its industrial relations ‘reforms’ the Howard government is on the 
warpath against organised labour”, Bolton said. “It needs leaders who 
can inspire and organise popular resistance and real on-the-streets 
opposition. Craig is nothing if he is not such a leader!”

Ms. Bolton stressed that Johnston should never have received his 
nine-month sentence for “affray” at Skilled Engineering and Johnson 
Tiles in 2001.

“The failure of much of the union movement to oppose that criminal 
witchhunt can only have encouraged Howard in his present course”, Bolton 
added. “It’s high time for the ACTU and the national leadership of the 
AMWU to stop distancing themselves from Craig. They should let bygones 
be bygones and unite with him and all those workers who support him in 
the struggle against Howard.”

Bolton said that the Socialist Alliance fully supported Johnston’s call 
for a campaign to drive Howard out of office.

She concluded: “A fightback against the Coalition’s industrial relations 
attacks will also be a struggle for justice for all those against whom 
this awful government has committed crimes—people on welfare, refugees 
and asylum-seekers, Indigenous Australia and the people of Iraq.”

Craig Johnston will be speaking at the National Trade Union Fightback 
conference <http://www.socialist-alliance.org/page.php?page=415> (Trades 
Hall, Melbourne, July 11) and at the Fourth Socialist Alliance National 
Conference (Trades Hall, Melbourne, July 12-13).


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