Trish Corcoran, Sydney
Barry Hemsworth, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) delegate at Botany Cranes, one of the largest mobile crane businesses in Sydney, was sacked on September 6 for "gross insubordination".
Hemsworth has 40 years' experience in the mobile crane industry. He was a union delegate for eight years and has been a community activist in the Rockdale area for many years.
For the last 12 months, Hemsworth has been in dispute with Botany Cranes over safety issues. The other workers at the yard have condemned his sacking, but Hemsworth has no protection from unfair dismissal because the federal government changed the laws.
Hemsworth and the CFMEU have set up a shed at the Botany Cranes entrance, where Hemsworth will be stationed until he is reinstated — until the next federal election if need be, he says.
Hemsworth has received support from Maritime Union of Australia members at nearby Port Botany, a local Greens councillor, federal MP Peter Garrett and many other unionists. You can show your support by visiting him at 3-5 Exell Street, Banksmeadow, or contacting Botany Cranes on (02) 9666 6366 or <email@example.com> to object to his sacking. For more information or copies of a petition, phone the CFMEU on (02) 97490400.