Jackie Kriz

There are very few workers in Australia today who feel confident that they have a job for life, are well paid or have the safest working conditions possible.

That’s why we all welcomed the Australian Council of Trade Union’s (ACTU) Change the Rules campaign. 

It is definitely time to stop the attacks on workers and build a fight back that can win. We need to get rid of legislation that stops unions from organising effectively for their members.

The Geelong Women Unionists Network, with the support of Geelong Trades Hall Council (GTHC), is holding a conference, Working Women Get Organised, on November 11 which is open to everyone.

This is an edited version of the speech given by Jackie Kriz, the president of Geelong Trades Hall Council, at the Geelong Reclaim the Night rally on October 31.

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I would like to thank the women of Reclaim the Night collective who, with support from Geelong Trades Hall, have worked tirelessly for months to organise this rally.

Geelong Trades Hall Council president Jackie Kriz gave the following speech on October 12 at a rally in protest against Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons' sexism. Kriz is also a member of Socialist Alliance.

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We have to ask ourselves — is what the mayor did really that bad? I mean, he only wore a t-shirt depicting a naked lady with some captions.

We've heard the comments — it's only a t-shirt, or it's political correctness gone mad. What's the fuss? It's a trivial matter. We hear this rhetoric all the time, but it is not a trivial matter.

In a week that saw a huge mass meeting and a rally of 12,000 people, Fair Work Australia (FWA) has ordered Victorian nurses— for the third time — by to lift their industrial action.

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) said on November 25 it would order its members to comply with the decision. The ANF hopes that its new offer of a compromise may pave the way to fruitful negotiations with the Coalition state government.

The Victorian Baillieu government is using Fair Work Australia to step up its attacks on two unions, the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).

By November 20, it had managed to get Fair Work Australia to order nurses to lift their work bans and reopen beds. It is also seeking an order to end the industrial campaign by the entire state public service, because of bans imposed by 1500 child protection workers.

There was a sea of red when public sector nurses filled Melbourne’s Festival Hall on November 11 to decide on further industrial action. About 50 buses brought nurses from across the state.

A swing version of “Danny Boy” played in the background to set a sombre but defiant tone. Messages of support came from Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney and the California Nurses Association.

Same-sex marriage, the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and serious issues affecting the aged care sector were among agenda items discussed at the Australian Nursing Federation’s (ANF) Biennial National Conference 2011. The conference met over October 20-21 in Canberra.

The ANF is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing (AINs). Its membership stands at 214,000 and it is one of Australia’s fastest-growing unions.

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