Support for Steel-Line Doors strikers
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Some 200 people attended a Multicultural Night to Support the Steel-Line Doors Workers at the Trades and Labour Council Building on April 7. Organised by the Central American Workers Community, and supported by the ACTU Queensland branch, the night featured Latin American music and messages of solidarity from a variety of organisations.
Organiser Jorge Rodriguez spoke of a "night of dignity" for the 17 Spanish-speaking workers who have been on strike since November 10. The workers, mostly from El Salvador, have been out the gate in a dispute over racial discrimination and their employer's opposition to trade union activity.
Rodriguez told the audience, "We are fighting to be treated like human beings in the workplace. We can be an example to other migrant workers, who often don't know their rights."
A letter was read from ACTU president Martin Ferguson supporting the workers and calling for an end to discrimination in the workplace.
The director of the Bureau of Ethnic Affairs presented greetings to the workers, stating that "discrimination in any form is simply not acceptable".
Perhaps most notable of all, a letter of support, accompanied by a $100 cheque, was read out from the Vietnamese community of Brisbane. Greetings were also received from the Chilean community.
Entertainment on the night came from the Grupo Folklorico El Salvador, Jumping Fences and other musicians.