Ark Tribe is a South Australian building worker and member of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU). He has been charged for refusing to answer questions by the Australian Building Construction Commission (ABCC) over a 2008 workplace safety dispute
The ABCC is a politically driven body aiming to break the strength of the building unions and deliver better profits to industry bosses.
Tribe is awaiting his next court hearing. Under the draconian ABCC laws, he could be jailed for up to six months.
Tribe's crime was calling his union and signing a petition over an occupational health and safety issue on his job. The ABCC does not just discriminate against building workers, its very existence poses a serious threat to workers' rights and safety on worksites.
Tribe's refusal to cooperate with the ABCC is a courageous act of defiance that should be supported. In 2008, Victorian CFMEU official Noel Washington's charges for non-cooperation with the ABCC were dropped after a successful union campaign. Geelong and Region Trades and Labour Council initiated a statement of non-cooperation with the ABCC in support of Washington, which received wide support.
The following statement of defiance, initiated by Peter Curtis, an Australian Education Union member, is being circulated in support of Tribe. It is supported by the Socialist Alliance.
"We the undersigned welcome the refusal of Ark Tribe to provide evidence to the ABCC. We call on our fellow Australians to join Ark Tribe in breaking the laws. We accept that in signing this statement we make ourselves liable for prosecution for incitement to break the law."
To sign onto the statement, mail signatures to: Socialist Alliance, PO Box 12427, A'Beckett Street, Melbourne 8006, or CFMEU South Australia branch: 1st Floor, 32 South Terrace, Adelaide 5000.