Call to repeal 45D and E
By Dave Wright
HOBART — Noel Rafferty, state secretary of the Waterside Workers Federation, has called on the Keating government to repeal sections 45D and E of the Trade Practices Act.
A resolution condemning these sections, which prohibit secondary boycotts, has been passed by Hobart port workers.
The resolution states, "Since 1977, damages and fines amounting to millions of dollars have been awarded against unions pursuing legitimate industrial campaigns over anything from wage claims, safety or opposition to uranium mining, to attempts by maritime unions to stop substandard flag of convenience vessels from dominating coastal shipping."
This adds to the mounting pressure from other environmental and progressive organisations for these laws to be repealed. A public meeting on February 26 passed a resolution similar to the port workers', condemning the TPA provisions and demanding their repeal.
That meeting was called by the Social, Ecological, Economic, Cultural Alliance, and speakers included representatives from the Wilderness Society, the Labor and Liberal parties, the Democrats, Democratic Socialists, the Greens and the PKIU. All condemned 45D and E, except the Liberal state president, Eric Abetz, who thought the current laws should be strengthened.
Ian Jamieson from the Democratic Socialists also condemned other draconian aspects of common law and industrial relations legislation which contain penal provisions. He called for an ongoing campaign to repeal them all.
This needs to be done, he said, through an alliance of committed environmental, trade union, working-class and progressive activists and organisations working closely with one another.