Jackie Kriz, an Australian Nurses Federation delegate from Geelong, will be the special guest speaker at Sydney’s annual Green Left Weekly May Day dinner, where she will share her experiences of the Victorian nurses’ remarkable victorious campaign and some of the lessons we can learn from it.
With jobs, working conditions and public services and assets under the knife as the bosses and their servants in parliaments desperately try to ensure that working people pay for capitalism’s crises, May Day this year must be much more than a commemoration of past struggles “for tradition’s sake”.
In NSW, the O'Farrell government has begun a wholesale attack on the state’s teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public servants. It plans to hugely increase penalties for unions that dare to defy court orders to protect their members and services. And it also plans to sell off big chunks of the state’s public assets.
Anyone paying attention to this vicious austerity package as it unfolds knows that only a huge, united trade union and community campaign will be able to stop it — a campaign that dares to struggle by every means necessary to win.
That campaign can learn much from the Victorian nurses who, over the past few months, fought a courageous struggle to protect jobs and defend safe nurse-to-patient ratios.
This mostly female workforce defied the politicians, the (un)Fair Work Australia laws and even criticism from other union leaders to achieve their demands.
Join Kriz at the “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win” dinner on Saturday, May 12, 7pm, at the Ukrainian Association Hall, 59 Joseph Street, Lidcombe. Toast international workers’ day, enjoy excellent north African food and live music and be inspired by workers’ resistance and rebellions in Australia and around the world.