It wouldn't be bad if we did

Mike Newman looks at the June 28th day of protest and rejects both the official 'waiting for Beazley' and the impatient-left's 'mass-strike' strategies

"They reckon we used to run the country a while back … I reckon it wouldn't be bad if we did run it."
Greg Combet, ACTU secretary

The Australia-wide June 28 day of protest against Howard’s boss-friendly industrial laws saw another determined response from the Australian working class.


7/17/2006 7:32:28 AM

Phil Sandford sent in a comment that didn't fit in the (stupid) 2000 character limitation currently set by our software - sorry phil...

as a short term fix we are accepting e-mail responses for extended (i.e. thought thru and argued) articles and publishing them with a link from the comment section. Phil's response is a test for this method while i work out a fix to our code.

Phil's comments are here...

7/12/2006 7:41:31 PM

"Struggle Builds Chracter" Iggy Pop, The Undefeated, 1990 This is a fair contribution in saying the way forward is between Green Left rhetoric and Beazleyism. But exactly what? What we need is a good blue. Australian shipping crew sacked & replaced by Filipino slaves, 100+ WA Construction Workers to be prosecuted 4 fines and damages, 2 SA abbatoirs bought by notorious union buster and 457 visa enthusiasts T & R Pastoral and all the existing workforce gets sacked. Take your pick. To keep momentum going we need to draw a line on these & other issues & organise around them. Fund raising, support buiding &, when necessary, direct action should all be part of the strategy. All 3 above examples will win the movement support if they fight them out. The struggle will bring the issues in to clear focus. For example if all the WA workers declared they won't pay any fines and won't attend any taskforce interrogations - under threat of prsion - the public would quickly see how close to new ASIO laws the building industry bill is. Until now it has been hard to make people aware of this.

7/5/2006 5:43:58 PM

We have received the following comments from Phil Sandford Mike Newman makes a number of interesting points in his analysis of the June 28 day of protest (‘Wouldn’t be bad if we did…’). He starts off by pointing out that the rallies nationwide were a powerful response by the working class and that there is a growing confidence that Howard’s Workchoices can be defeated. He’s correct to criticise the abstract calls for strike action coming from some sections of the left and the opposed view of simply calling for a vote for Labor. He’s also correct to call for rebuilding workplace delegate structures and building local Your Rights at Work committees. However, I’m not so sure about his call ‘to abolish the current constitution and replace it with a radical republican settlement with the working class at the centre of political life’. If there is no strong feeling for industrial action in the working class at present it’s also true that there is no strong feeling to abolish the constitution. While it is correct not to pin any great faith on the states’ constitutional challenge to Workchoices there is no sign of any opposition to this step in the working class. I’m not sure how you can call to abolish the constitution at the same time as trying to use it against Howard. I think that every measure possible should be taken to defeat Howard’s laws, including the constitutional challenge, because they represent a massive blow against wages and conditions and will make organising in the workplace much more difficult. I think the conditions exist now for some serious recruitment to the unions, a crucial step in the campaign against Workchoices. I think it will also be possible to build local Your Rights at Work committees all over the country and to have a broad-ranging discussion about the next steps in the campaign involving delegates, rank-and-file unionists, community members and members of various political parties such as the ALP and Greens. I sup

You must be logged in to submit a comment.