Socialist Alliance on a roll


Campaign launched to stop bank closure

CANBERRA — The Socialist Alliance here has launched a campaign to stop a local branch of the Commonwealth Bank from closing.

The group plans to leaflet and petition locals outside the branch, in Bunda Street, Civic, and to hold a rally on July 27, the day the branch is set to shut its doors for the last time. On the first hour of campaigning, close to 100 people signed the petition.

Despite the big four banks making $9.4 billion in combined profits, they have closed 2000 branches and sacked 40,000 workers over the last six years. Commonwealth Bank chief David Murray has an annual salary of $2 million last year and reaped an additional $8 million after selling his share options.

The alliance's campaign will involve making links with the bank workers' union, getting small business to support the campaign and notifying the local press.

Workers' struggles backed

PERTH — The Socialist Alliance here has called a protest action for July 14 to demand that the government guarantee the entitlements of sacked One.Tel and HIH workers and that it move to nationalise the assets of One.Tel and HIH's directors and major shareholders.

The alliance has also resolved to launch a concerted effort to support stopwork meetings and pickets by workers in the Public Service Association, the Finance Sector Union and the Association of Heath Service Officers, due over the next month, and to collect donations for these workers' struggles.

At its July 4 district meeting, 30 members and supporters heard from MUA militant Chris Cain describe how many seafarers are "dissatisfied, not only with their [union] leadership but also with the Labor Party" and urge the Socialist Alliance to increase its efforts to win support among rank-and-file unionists.

Illawarra branch launched

WOLLONGONG — People who live in the region from Wollongong to Nowra can now join the Socialist Alliance, after an Illawarra group was launched on June 21 at the Migrant Resource Centre.

Members laid plans to build the Socialist Alliance in the region and are organising stalls, public meetings, publicity stunts, media statements, local leaflets and newsletters.

The branch covers three federal election seats, including the safe Labor seat of Throsby, which former ACTU president Jennie George will contest for the ALP after her candidateship has been imposed from above by the Labor's national executive, against the wishes of local members.

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