Building a fighting spirit in Geelong

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sue Bull, Geelong
Long-time political activist and socialist Tim Gooden was declared elected unopposed to the Geelong Trades Hall Council's secretary position on June 21. His tenure will be for five years.
This is a significant victory for union

Sue Bull, Geelong

Long-time political activist and socialist Tim Gooden was declared elected unopposed to the Geelong Trades Hall Council's secretary position on June 21. His tenure will be for five years.

This is a significant victory for union militants and socialists in Geelong, as there has been much discussion about the role that regional trades halls can play in the struggle against PM John Howard's draconian anti-union legislation.

Gooden told Green Left Weekly, "I think that workers are looking for a fight-back. They're looking for leadership. This next period will see workers and their unions come under enormous attacks by governments and big bosses."

Gooden said it is "absolutely critical" to develop "unity and solidarity among workers", to "undermine the confidence of employers so that they don't think they can implement Howard's laws and get away with it".

"What we're looking at now in Geelong is building a solid leadership team. Our new executive, when it is elected in July, will attempt to bring together all factions and a range of unions. I have full confidence that we can rebuild a fighting spirit in this town."

Referring to a recent protest of hundreds of workers when the prime minister visited Geelong, Gooden said: "We've already frightened Howard away once. So we know that we've got the ability to have an impact.

"Now we want to bring in new layers of workers — young, inexperienced or perhaps even those who have just become disillusioned in the last period. We're planning a dinner for women unionists, picket-line training days, fundraisers for the fighting fund and lots of activities to rebuild the confidence of workers to get involved and get active."

"Geelong Trades Hall has always been progressive. It should be relatively straightforward to build on this strength, providing we stay focused on the attacks on workers and fighting our class enemies. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

From Green Left Weekly, June 29, 2005.

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From GLW issue 631