Austrailian Industial Action To Protest War

Austrailian Industial Action to Protest War
[Industrial Worker, March 2003]

Western Austrailian unions say they will launch industrial action across the state immediately following any military strike against Iraq. More than 75,000 workers from nine key unions are set to go ahead even if the United Nations backs the attack.

Unions representing construction, manufacturing, schools, finance and hospital workers are also seeking talks with the government over the possible use of Fremantle port by American warships.

Austrailian Manufacturing Workers Union state secretary Jock Ferguson said the unions did not support the Iraqi regime but believed all avenues should be exhausted "before we condemn tens of thousands of working people in Iraq to the horrors of war."

However, the Transport Workers Union is refusing to join the action. TWU officials said they opposed the war, but also opposed action that might interfere with providing supplies of services to the military. Other unions said they might not strike, instead holding stop-work meetings, joining anti-war demonstrations, or taking other action.