An industrial relations forum on May 8, hosted by the Socialist Alliance, brought together trade union and political activists to discuss their responses to the ALP's recently released IR policy and the campaign against Work Choices.
Speaking on the panel were Graham Matthews from the Socialist Alliance, Tony Pappas from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Warren Smith from the Maritime Union of Australia, Mark Newman from the NSW Greens and Eddy Seymour from the Communist Party of Australia.
All speakers agreed on the need to kick out the Howard government at the next election and the danger of far more severe attacks on working people if the Coalition is returned to office. The discussion assessed in some detail the ALP's new policy, and a consensus emerged that pressure must be maintained on the ALP to repeal all anti-worker laws if it wins government.
It was reported that further mass mobilisations before the federal election have been ruled out by the Australian Council of Trade Unions and Unions NSW, but all the speakers agreed on the importance of pushing for further national protest action. They also agreed to continue the dialogue among left and progressive forces about the campaign, and to work together in practice over the coming period.