Sue Bolton

Ever since the federal Coalition government introduced Work Choices, the trade union movement has been united behind the demand that the legislation be repealed. The debate has been over what alternative industrial relations system the movement should advocate.

A workshop involving trade unionists from around Australia is being held in Geelong on October 28 from 1pm. Socialist Alliance initiated the workshop because union activists are telling us that there are many issues in the campaign against Work Choices that aren’t getting discussed.

Two cases of ruthless exploitation of Chinese guest workers have recently come to light in the printing industry, throwing the spotlight on the plight of the growing number of guest workers.

Solidarity and union spirit were on display on November 25, as 6000 unionists gathered outside the State Library to protest the jailing of former Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) Victorian secretary Craig Johnston and the increasing criminalisation of trade union struggle.

The rally called for Johnston's immediate release and the start of a fight-back campaign against PM John Howard's reactionary agenda.

On April 28, the ballot opened for the post of Queensland branch secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. The candidates contesting the position are Brett Cardinal, a former Queensland AMWU organiser, running for Workers Unity, a militant rank-and-file group in the union, and acting state secretary Andrew Dettmer, who is supported by AMWU national secretary Doug Cameron.

Dettmer became acting state secretary in 2003 when the elected state secretary, Dave Harrison, resigned to contest preselection for a safe Labor Party seat.

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