The following letter was sent last week to the secretaries of Unions NSW and unions covering the NSW power industry.
We write following a discussion at a June 25 Northern Rivers Unionist Network meeting about the campaign against electricity privatisation in NSW.
As you are probably aware, NRUN was one of the first Your Rights at Work groups formed, in May 2005, and has mobilised thousands of people in the region in defence of the rights of working people and played a significant role in the historic defeat of the National Party in the seat of Page in the 2007 federal elections.
During our discussion it was agreed that the campaign was extremely important and had shown some successes so far, however concern was expressed that seemingly little campaign material or information about the direction of the campaign, particularly in regard to state-wide public action that we could participate in, has been forthcoming towards YR@W and similar groups in regional areas.
As you are aware, outside of Sydney rates of unemployment and poverty are higher, so higher electricity bills will bite hard. In areas such as ours there is also great concern about the provision of water being threatened by privatisation if electricity generation and retail are sold off.
Consequently we decided to organise a local action to target our local National Party MLA, but also to encourage Unions NSW and relevant unions to continue and extend the campaign. Therefore we are asking you to:
Send us relevant campaign material;
Call a state-wide day of action, perhaps when parliament resumes on September 23.
Yours in solidarity,
Northern Rivers Unionist Network.