Barry's 300 days for workers' rights


Barry Hemsworth, a Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union member and workplace delegate, was sacked unfairly from his job at Botany Cranes in Sydney's eastern suburbs in 2006, made possible by the Howard government's unfair dismissal laws. July 2 will mark the 300th day that Barry has held vigil outside the gates of his former employer with the support of the union movement.

Over the Queen's Birthday long weekend, the shed that has been Hemsworth's "campaign office" was vandalised. A window was smashed, and prawn shells thrown inside. The evidence points to someone from inside the company, as a couch that was put on top of the shed by vandals came from inside the Botany Cranes lunch room.

"My vigil, in defiance of the company, has been about highlighting the injustices of Work Choices right up until the federal election", Hemsworth told Green Left Weekly. "We're close to that now, and I've been pleased with the support of the union right across the country in raising awareness about Howard's unfair dismissal laws."