42020Re: The sales campaign for WorkChoices Lite begins ...
- Apr 30, 2007By Bob Gould
I'm working on an overview of the Labor Party national conference and
the subsequent hysteria of the bourgeoisie about the new industrial
relations policy, and what it means.
These are contradictory developments that require careful description
The incorrigible Dave Riley belts out a nonsensical
better-worse-the-better position about Laborism in his inimitable way
claims for the 200th time that Laborism is totally finished and the
Socialist Alliance can arise from the ashes. He'll be a long time waiting.
Norm Dixon posts a leaflet signed by some trade union activists, in
the first instance Dean Mighell, titled an Open Letter to the ALP
Conference. The difficulty with that document is that despite its
sensible sentiments, I and others saw no evidence that it was
distributed to delegates at the conference. What I and others did see
was the ubiquitous Jacqueline on behalf of the Socialist Alliance
yelling aggressively hostile remarks at the delegates as they went in.
In the industrial relations debate there were 18 speakers, including
Michele O'Neil, Dean Mighell, Dave Noonan (Victorian CFMEU) and Dave
Oliver (AMWU), who the DSP is quite sensibly supporting in the current
Metalworkers Union election. These four, in particular, were properly
critical of the aspects of the IR proposals that were unacceptable to
Nevertheless, they all stressed that on balance they supported the IR
proposals despite reservations, as the best that was on offer. They
all voted for the resolution, which was carried unanimously.
Since the conference the media and many employer organisations have
gone ballistic, saying the Labor IR policy makes far too many
concessions to unions and workers.
The situation is clearly contradictory.
The four senior union officials I mentioned are important figures in
the broad labour movement and are often presented by the DSP
leadership as part of the militant trade union current. In they normal
course of events they have much more clout in the workers movement
than either Bob Gould or the DSP.
I strongly suggest to Norm Dixon and Green Left that they interview
these four militant ALP union leaders to get their views on the
current situation facing the workers movement, which ought inevitably
to include their views on why it was necessary to vote for the
resolution at the same time as being critical of it.
Sensible, in-depth interviews like that would be more use than
Potemkin village meanderings from Dave Riley or leaflets produced
after the event for the record that don't appear to have been widely
distributed to conference delegates.
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