Socialists, Greens call on Iemma to defend workers' rights

September 7, 2005

Graham Matthews, Sydney

Pip Hinman, the Socialist Alliance candidate in the September 17 Marrickville by-election, has issued an open letter to NSW Premier Morris Iemma calling on his Labor government to refuse to cooperate with the federal government's new anti-worker laws.

"Premier Iemma has stated that he is opposed to the federal Coalition's raft of anti-worker laws, due to be debated later this year", Hinman told Green Left. "He has indicated that his government will challenge the validity of the laws in the High Court, however the Socialist Alliance argues that he should go further. We call on the NSW government to take real action to build the popular resistance to these unjust laws and frustrate their implementation."

Hinman is calling on all candidates in the Marrickville by-election, along with all other concerned people, to sign the open letter. Greens candidate Sam Byrne has signed the letter.

"If we are to succeed in building a serious movement against Howard's planned attacks on our rights and living standards, we need the broadest possible support", Hinman said. "State Labor governments have pledged to oppose Howard's laws. It's time that they took appropriate action to back-up their promises."

The letter reads:

We call upon the NSW Labor government to:

1. Guarantee that no state employee will be offered individual contracts, which break-down wages and conditions of workers and destroy workplace solidarity.

2. Repudiate the federal government's demand that all education workers (university and TAFE) must be offered individual contracts to receive federal funding, and that you guarantee that funding from other sources.

3. Give a commitment that state police will not be used to enforce federal government attacks on workers under the new workplace relations laws or on construction unions through the Building Industry Improvement Act, or against any worker taking industrial action.

4. Enact legislation to guarantee unfair dismissal protection for all workers.

5. Repudiate the federal government's attempt to abolish the state industrial system, and enshrine all conditions (long-service leave, penalty rates, allowances, meal breaks, etc.) in NSW legislation that the federal government wants to strip from awards.

To add your name to the open letter, or to volunteer to help the Socialist Alliance election campaign in Marrickville, phone Graham on (02) 9690 1977 or email <>. Visit < http://www.socialist-A HREF=""><>.

From Green Left Weekly, September 7, 2005.
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