Trade unionists against the war

November 14, 2001

[The following statement is being circulated throughout the union movement.]

We share the horror of people around the world and condemn the terror attacks in the US on September 11. The killing of almost 7000 people, including many trade unionists, was a criminal act of murder.

The workers who died in the attack on the World Trade Center towers are not responsible for US government policy, including successive US governments' policy of sponsoring terrorist acts against civilians in other countries.

However, the horror of the September 11 events in no way justifies the military retaliation being carried out by the US and its allies, including Australia.

The attempt to use this tragedy to engage in military actions will only lead to more carnage and senseless loss of life, and will not end the threat of terrorism.

We reject the idea that whole nations should be punished for the actions of a few. Bombing raids and military strikes will only fuel an endless cycle of revenge which can only bring the deaths of more innocent civilians around the world.

For this reason we oppose any Australian military involvement in US plans for military retaliation and call on the Australian government to immediately withdraw all military assistance.

As unionists, we declare our opposition to any attempts to use this tragedy to whip up anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment or acts of violence. Such racism pits worker against worker in the workplace, making it harder for workers to unite in defence of their interests and weakening the trade union movement.

We also oppose any attempt by the Australian government to imitate the US government and use the tragedy as an excuse to impose restrictions on democratic rights and civil liberties.

We pledge our support for anti-war protests and will provide assistance to ensure the success of these protests.

ACT: Penny Shakespeare, president, CPSU; Pat Brewer, ACT division, NTEU and ACT TLC delegate; Andrew Hall, delegate, CPSU; Adrian Gibbs, delegate, CPSU; Paul Oboohov, deputy delegate, CPSU and ACT TLC alternate delegate; Peter Ellett, delegate, CPSU;

NSW: Naomi Arrowsmith, CPSU organiser; Peter Wilson, NSWTF and president, SCLC; Daniel Jardine, vice-president, general staff, Macquarie branch, NTEU; Alana Kerr, central councillor, PSA; Noreen Navin, state councillor, NSWTF; Sally McManus, organiser, ASU NSW Services branch; Chris Pickering, delegate and chairperson Upper Illawarra working group, PSA; Adam Leeman, delegate, AMWU; Stephen O'Brien, delegate, PSA and Newcastle THC delegate; Jenny Long, chairperson of workplace committee, PSA; Lachlan Malloch, delegate to departmental committee, PSA; Wayne Sonter, delegate, PSA; Fred Moore, life member, CFMEU Miners Division and SCLC May Day Committee; Bruce Robertson, PSA; Sam Wainwright, MUA; Bill Whiley, retired miner; Jo Abrantes, NTEU; Stuart Martin, AMWU; Margaret Perrott, ASMOF and secretary, SCLC May Day Committee; Allan Westwood, AMWU; Melanie Sjoberg, PSA; Mara Apelis, ASU NSW & ACT Services Branch; Peter Perkins, ASU Services Branch.

QUEENSLAND: Jim McIlroy, delegate, CPSU; Mike Byrne, delegate, CPSU; Tim Stewart, CPSU.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: John McGill, delegate, CEPU and UTLC delegate.

TASMANIA: Jo Fox, industrial officer, NTEU; Alex Bainbridge, branch councillor, AEU.

VICTORIA: Craig Johnston, state secretary, AMWU; Martin Foley, Victorian branch executive president, ASU; Carol Williams, acting president, Victorian Division, NTEU; Jeremy Smith, president, Ballarat branch, NTEU; Judy Swan, vice-president, Ballarat branch, NTEU; Chris Spindler, organiser, AMWU; Tim Gooden, delegate, CFMEU; Chris Slee, delegate, CPSU; Verity Burgmann, NTEU; Dez Wildwood, AEU; Susanna Duffy, ASU SACS Branch;

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Seamus Doherty, vice president, CEPU; Melanie Booth, assistant secretary, CPSU; Michel Amati, industrial officer, CPSU-CSA; Joe Fiala, organiser, CEPU; Owen Wood, organiser, CPSU; Steve Yuen, organiser, CPSU; Leisa Hutchings, section councillor, CPSU; Toni Smyth, state committee, FSU; Byron Flynn, organiser support, CPSU; Chris Cain, delegate, MUA; Mark Innes, delegate, CFMEU; H Sykies, delegate, CPSU-CSA; Phil Chilton, delegate, CPSU; Angela Howelle, delegate, LHMU; R Hyland, delegate, LHMU; Elenor Rigly, ASU; Lesley Lord, ASU; G Hawik, CPSU (WA); Robyn Murphy, CPSU; N Jecky, CFMEU; M Buchan, CFMEU; C Serber, CFMEU; E Bartholomew, CEPU; Brian Churchill, CFMEU; Colin Squire, CFMEU; Peter Ballard, CFMEU; Pat Branson, CPSU-CSA; Shannon Clarke, HSOA; D Hart, ASU; Kery McGranaghan, AMWU; Naomi Yellowles, NTEU; Lorna Aggarwal, SSTU; Joanne Thorpe, AASW; Gavin Mooney, NTEU; Mary Dixon, ANF; Travis Masters, AMWU Printing Division; Gil Rainer, SSTU; Darren Jiggens, CEPU Electrical Division; Anthony Benbow, CEPU Electrical Division.

[Union positions for identification purposes only]

Please distribute this statement as widely as possible. All signatories should be forwarded to <> or <> or rung though to (02)9690 1230.

From Green Left Weekly, November 14, 2001.
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