Daily Archives: May 18, 2008

Union Report from Fremantle

Joe’s back in the spotlight

Joe McDonald storming building siteMeeting in Fremantle of unionists went well. Ten people there. I’ll be able to tell you more when I get a chance to look at my notes.

Essentially, the focus should be on the ABCC and explaining why this is a civil rights issue to the wider community i.e. it’s rather secret police powers.

I don’t see how Labor is going to be axing the ABCC until 2010 and in fact, they’ve increased its budget…see the recent budget statement.

Julia Gillard is responsible for appointing the head of the ABCC; but appointments are for five years and the last appointment was in 2005.

So, you’ve got a Howard cronie in there, policing workers with an increased budget.

We need to put public pressure on MPs, asking them how they stand on the abuses of power exercised by the ABCC, then publicise their answers or non answers vis a vis support for the ABCC.

FW from the ETU spoke of how much more difficult it is now dealing with employers.

Seems that they’re playing by the rules more than before…kind of ‘work to rule’ in reverse, causing union delegates lots of lost time.

The employing class has also been coming up with some sneaky ways of reformulating ‘work choices’ by having workers sign something called, “green…blah, blah” agreements.

Once signed, this keeps union organizers legally out of the work place.

More later… http://www.myspace.com/ballardoso

*****************

Joe’s back in the spotlight
Article from: AAP Billy Rule
May 17, 2008 05:00pm
http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23715245-5017005,00.html

THIS is the footage Joe McDonald wants people to see as proof he is still at large.

And to match the pictures of him illegally storming a Perth building site, the renegade unionist also verbals the Labor Government, accusing Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard of selling out the unions to win power.

He then baits the Prime Minister by saying:

“I don’t even think about him, but he must go to bed thinking about me sometimes.”

The defiant footage of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union assistant secretary will be screened tonight on 60 Minutes in an interview with former The Sunday Times columnist Liam Bartlett .

But The Sunday Times can reveal that Mr McDonald may be in more trouble, because the builder he berates, Gerry Hanssen, has lodged a complaint of trespass against Mr McDonald and his union colleagues to the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Mr McDonald lost his state and federal permits several years ago for inappropriate behaviour, which included bullying and aggression. His actions gained further notoriety last year after video footage surfaced of him calling a builder a “thieving, parasite dog”.

The ABCC wants him banned for a further three years and tonight’s images on Channel 9 are sure to draw more anger from the powerful industry watchdog.

When asked about his tactics of storming building sites, Mr McDonald said

“bad laws should be broken”. “I’m definitely not going to hang my head in shame and if the biggest crime I commit is to walk through the gates of a building site to better the lot of the people I represent I’m going to continue to do it,” he said. But some of his most vitriolic comments are aimed at the Federal Government and his expulsion from the Labor Party by Mr Rudd.

When asked if he thinks Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard have sold him out, he replies:

“Absolutely, absolutely. “They would have done anything to get where they are and … I mean the magnitude of the treachery still stuns me.”

60 Minutes executive producer Hamish Thompson believes viewers will be split when it comes to judging Mr McDonald’s motives.

“The opinions of people in here who have seen the screenings so far have been split 50-50,” he said. “Some have said `he may be a ratbag, but good on him … at least he’s standing up for workers’.”