Long live workers’ international solidarity!International Relations- International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

December 2, 2008
Mr. John Dauth
Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
Australia House, Strand, London WC2B 4LA

RE: ABCC and Noel Eashington

Dear High Commisioner,

The IASWI strongly condemns the prosecution of Mr. Noel Washington. We have been informed that Mr. Noel Washington, an official of the CFMEU, is facing the possibility of a 6 month jail sentence because of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) excessive powers. According to rights on site campaign, the ABCC was created by the Howard Government in 2005 to enforce its laws and ‘criminalise’ union-related activities on construction sites. But, these laws and the ABCC are still in place under the new labour government. We have been informed that more than 92 construction workers have been secretly interrogated by the ABCC. Noel Washington has been charged with refusing to attend an ABCC interrogation about a union meeting and faces court in Melbourne on December, 02, 2008.

We would like to express our solidarity and support with hundreds of thousands of construction workers across Australia and the rights on site campaign supported by Australia’s Construction Unions. We also demand the immediate withdrawal of all charges against Mr. Washington and the abolition the ABCC.

Sincerely

International Relations- International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran- London Branch

December 2, 2008

Mr Justin Brown
The Australian High Commissioner to Canada
7th Floor, Suite 710
50 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6L2
Sent via fax number: 613-236-4376

RE: ABCC and Noel Eashington

Dear High Commisioner,

The IASWI strongly condemns the prosecution of Mr. Noel Washington. We have been informed that Mr. Noel Washington, an official of the CFMEU, is facing the possibility of a 6 month jail sentence because of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) excessive powers. According to rights on site campaign, the ABCC was created by the Howard Government in 2005 to enforce its laws and ‘criminalise’ union-related activities on construction sites. But, these laws and the ABCC are still in place under the new labour government. We have been informed that more than 92 construction workers have been secretly interrogated by the ABCC. Noel Washington has been charged with refusing to attend an ABCC interrogation about a union meeting and faces court in Melbourne on December, 02, 2008.

We would like to express our solidarity and support with hundreds of thousands of construction workers across Australia and the rights on site campaign supported by Australia’s Construction Unions. We also demand the immediate withdrawal of all charges against Mr. Washington and the abolition of the ABCC.

Sincerely

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)- Canada Branch

Contact for more information:
Farid C. Partovi: info@workers-iran.org

A Message of International Solidarity with Workers of Australia
WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!

We, the undersigned, express our solidarity with CFMEU official, Noel Washington; and strongly, condemn the unfair legislations imposed on the construction workers and unions by the Australian government since 2005.

The Neo conservative and capitalist government led by John Howard founded a “special force” while continued to pass very repressive labour laws. This “special force”, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has extensive powers. Due to the law, the ABCC has the authority to control the workers’ meetings and gatherings concerning their basic rights. As the CFMEU states in a protest flyer “the ABCC can force construction workers and their union representatives to attend interrogations, record union meetings without workers’ knowledge, and remove the rights of workers to choose their own legal counsel”. It can question and interrogate workers, at any time, about the details of the union meetings and discussions among workers. If workers and union officials don’t attend the interrogation or remain silent during an interrogation and refuse to answer the questions, they would face 6 months in jail. This discriminatory law doesn’t apply to other workers and unions in Australia.

With such workplace legislation, Australia, among other countries in the world, has one of the most backward laws in regard to the trade union rights. Mr Noel Washington, the CFMEU official in Victoria State of Australia, refused to submit to an ABCC interrogation and now faces 6 months in jail. He will go on trial on 2 December 2008. We protest to the trial of Noel Washington and demand its’ revoke and dropping of all charges against him.

Last year, the Australian working people, removed the Howard government from power because of the oppressive Work Choices law. We call on the Labour government led by Kevin Rudd, to respect the Australian people’s democratic rights and votes, and repeal this unjust legislation. We support the rightful struggles of Australian workers in achieving their internationally recognised labour rights as well as political and job security.

We call on all progressive organizations, trade unions, and labour, human rights activists to join the protest campaign against these anti-workers’ policies, in countries they live, on 2 December 2008 in front of Australian embassy or unions and human rights organizations. Send your message by fax and email to Australian Embassy in different countries; raise your voice of protest against anti-workers legislations and support Australian workers.
Demand: Abolish the ABCC, now! Drop all charges against Noel Washington immediately!

This campaign has been endorsed by CFMEU (Construction, Forestry, Mining, Energy Union) and joined by the ACTU, Unions NSW, Queensland Council of Unions, Victoria Trade Hall, CEPU, ETU, AMWU and AWU in Australia: Tuesday, 2nd December, 10 Am

Please visit these websites for further information:
http://www.rightsonsite.org.au
http://www.cfmeu.asn.au/construction
(copy from IASWI)
Long live international solidarity of the workers!

London and Birmingham Branches in UK
Tuesday 2nd December, 10 AM at Australian House (Australian High Commission) Strand, London WC2B 4LA
Supported by:
International Alliance in support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)
http://www.workers-iran.org

November 20, 2008
Solidarity message to The Australian Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU);

Dear friends and comrades,

We are writing this letter in solidarity with the CFMEU and Mr. Noel Washington. The IASWI strongly condemns the prosecution of Mr. Noel Washington. We have been informed that Mr. Noel Washington, an official of the CFMEU, is facing the possibility of a 6 month jail sentence because of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) excessive powers. According to rights on site campaign, the ABCC was created by the Howard Government in 2005 to enforce its laws and ‘criminalise’ union-related activities on construction sites. But, these laws and the ABCC are still in place under the new labour government. We have been informed that more than 92 construction workers have been secretly interrogated by the ABCC. Noel Washington has been charged with refusing to attend an ABCC interrogation about a union meeting and faces court in Melbourne on December, 02, 2008.

The CFMEU and many other Australian labour organizations have been strong supporters of the Iranian labour movement and the workers’ struggles in Iran in and other parts of the world. Your struggles against employers and unjust government laws are our struggles too. We would like to express our solidarity and support with hundreds of thousands of construction workers across Australia and demand the immediate withdrawal of all charges against Mr. Washington. We will send our protest letters to the Australian government and its embassies in different countries on December 2nd, 2008 and promote your protest rallies and actions.

Long live workers’ international solidarity!
International Relations- International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

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