'Troops home by Christmas!'


"Now that Labor has decisively won the federal election, it is urgent that Australian troops be withdrawn from Iraq as soon as possible", Jim McIlroy, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Kevin Rudd's seat of Griffith, said after the announcement that Labor had defeated the Howard government. McIlroy also called for an end to Australian support for the war in Afghanistan. "All Australian forces should be brought home by Christmas.

"A sizeable majority of the Australian people are in favour of withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq. What better present for them and for the families of the troops themselves than for the new ALP government to act quickly to implement Labor's pledge for withdrawal from the disastrous occupation of Iraq.

"The Rudd government can also recognise the decisive role of the trade union movement and the anti-Work Choices campaign in defeating the Howard regime by acting immediately to remove key sections of the Work Choices legislation.

"In particular, the new government can support the call by Unions NSW secretary John Robertson to allow workers to withdraw from Australian Workplace Agreements [individual contracts] right now, rather than having to wait up to five years for the agreements to expire. AWAs should be repealed retrospectively, rather than lingering on for years."

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