Union & Community renewal

May Forum: Collective Resistance, what will it mean?

6pm for 6:30pm startMay Forum: Collective Resistance to the crisis, what will it mean?

22 May 2009

Keynote Speaker: Humphrey McQueen (historian).

Entry by Gold Coin donation.

AHIMSA House is at 26 Horan Street, West End, near the West End State School.


6 PM Monday

27 April 2009

The hope of the world

The union has made possible progress not only for the working people, but advancement in many other directions – morally, socially, and intellectually – and is traceable to the existence of the organisation of the workers.

The object and aims of the union movement and the realisation thereof have been the dream of the sages and seers, and the prophets of the past ages.

Every new demand for better physical protection of the workers ensures a great ideal development for a future generation.

B. A. (Ben) Mulvogue, Secretary, Victorian Branch of the Builders’ Labourers’ Federation, Builders’ Labourers’ News, 24 December 1915 .

In more recent times, both union and community***  have been in decline.

Labor-in-power has not arrested this trend. We only have to look in our own backyard to see reduced union consciousness, loss of democracy in the workplace, centralisation of local government, failure or decline of progressive communities around institutions like the Palm Sunday Peace rally, St Mary’s at Sth Brisbane, AHIMSA house in West End, and Paddo Workers.

Economic rationalism has taken its toll.

Is Australia to become a nation of scabs, or as someone else put it, will Australia be a scab nation?

Is a fightback possible and how? Can communities like those above be revived? Can unions rebuild?

With this in mind, I have made a booking for an organising meeting at AHIMSA house on 27 April 2009 at 6pm.

Organisers & members of unions and community groups are welcome.

With May coming up it is important for union & community groups to co-ordinate their activities around May Day. The TLC has a Labour Day committee that organises the events on Labour day itself but there are a number of other events that are organised by various groups.image The Labour Day committee puts these other activities in the non-union category and places them at the back of the may day march. Space for stalls is also provided. But is this enough? Last year many people marched with their union but as the march came nearer the exhibition grounds, they drifted back to this ‘non-union’ contingent.

With that in mind it is timely to organise a forum on the topic above and to let each group know what others are doing.

Other groups have been trying to sponsor a revival, groups like Brisbane Labour History Association, May Day Celebrations committee & WorkLife, to name just three. Organisation has met with the difficulty of energy and focus (small groups doing different things).

*** By community, I mean Green Bans, union sports days, social gatherings, Foco Nuevo, May Day floats, Invasion Day at Musgrave Park, Murri resistance, turning your back on Parliament, community pickets during the MUA dispute in 1998, politics in the park … — those sorts of things.

Please provide suggestions or proposed agenda items in the comments box below.

Ian Curr
07 3398 5215

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