Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Building workers protest royal commission

By Chris Latham

PERTH — On October 2, some 1000 members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's construction division protested against the return to Perth of the royal commission into the construction industry.

CFMEU state secretary Kevin Reynolds, who appeared at a commission hearing for the first time, informed the rally that "of the 640 witnesses called only 30 have been from the side of the union".

Reynolds reminded the CFMEU members that commissioner Terence Cole "is not interested in the truth, but in destroying your union. Kevin Reynolds may come and go but the union will always remain a strong militant union willing to bring them to heel."

Transport Workers Union state secretary Jim McGiveron expressed his union's support for the CFMEU and all unions under attack. He pointed out the hypocrisy and anti-union bias of the commission's hearings with "97% of the witnesses called in NSW being anti-union [and] 71% of all witnesses were employers, it amounts to an attack on unions".

CFMEU mining and energy division state secretary Gary Woods, former West Australian Labor premier Brian Bourke and former federal industrial relations minister Senator Peter Cook also addressed the rally.

From Green Left Weekly #512

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Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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