BY JIM MCILROY
BRISBANE — The Queensland Council of Unions has authorised a special affiliates' meeting to discuss the planned May 1 blockade of the city's stock exchange.
The QCU's executive, meeting on March 27, decided to call the affiliates' meeting after receiving a letter from the M1 Alliance asking for support and endorsement.
Individual unions have already begun to express backing for the M1 action. Ian McLean, the secretary of the telecommunications and services section of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, has offered his union's support for the day. The union will help financially and with publicity and will encourage the involvement of Telstra workers currently campaigning against the privatisation of the company's Network Design and Construction arm.
As part of its campaign, the M1 Alliance is planning to hold a picket, at noon on April 7, outside the newly opened store of the giant US Starbucks coffee shop chain. The store is on the corner of Queen and Creek streets, in central Brisbane.
Starbucks is notorious for its anti-worker and anti-environmental practices. Small coffee producers in Third World countries, including East Timor, are paid a pittance by the chain, which makes a fortune by selling the coffee at inflated prices in the First World.
The Brisbane M1 Alliance meets each Monday at 6pm at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, SouthBank, Room 1.21. Contact the alliance by phoning (07) 3831 2644 or 3846 2414 or by joining its e-list by emailing <firstname.lastname@example.org>.