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Issue #1776      May 10, 2017

Unite for your rights

May Day Toast, Perth 2017

To celebrate the International Day of solidarity of the working class, the Community Union Defence League (CUDL) held a May Day Toast at 43 Below in Perth attended by over 70 people. Several eminent defenders of the working class were invited to speak and propose a toast. The proceedings commenced fittingly with a song by well-known local working class guitarist, singer and former leader of the Working Voices Choir, Barnard Carney.

May Day march, WA, 2017.

The first speaker was Unions WA Secretary, Meredith Hammat who spoke about the hard work by the Western Australian union movement in helping to oust the anti-worker government of former Liberal Premier Colin Barnett and helping to bring about a Labor government led by Mark McGowan. Hammat added, “It is important to remember who we are and we need to stand up together to defend our hard fought wages, conditions and rights.”

Simon Millman, the newly elected ALP member for the seat of Mt Lawley and former lawyer for the CFMEU, in an echo to ACTU secretary Sally McManus recent reminder of the need for the working people of Australia to defend their rights for if we were to leave it to the conservatives in this country, we would be on the fast track to fascism.

Alison Xamon, Greens Upper House member for North Metro, criticised the previous Liberal government which had cut funding to Worksafe and thereby inhibited its ability to, “undertake effective investigations and systematic inspections”.

Mick Buchan, state secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union raised current state and federal governments’ attack on the rule of law through the Fair Work Building and Construction Commission and its successor ABCC that are compliant tools of the interests of construction companies and developers.

Unionists for Refugees spokespersons Tim Dymond and Melissa Wagner spoke of the need to defend the rights of refugees as the government is trying out their agenda of diminishing the right of the most vulnerable members of our society as a precursor for other sectors of Australian society.

Aaron Bearsell of CPA Youth spoke of the need to have strong independent unions which are not tied to class collaborationist political parties.

Dean Keating, of Cairde Sinn Fein gave a brief history of the last two hundred years of the of the working people in Ireland struggle against unemployment which spiked in Ireland to 18 percent, with 350,000 workers having to migrate to secure their livelihoods.

The Final speaker was Elizabeth Hulm of the Community Union Defence League (CUDL) WA who spoke of the war against workers and their representative organisations which is making it more difficult to organise workers in their struggle to defend hard fought wages, conditions and rights. Hulm urged workers to unite as a collective for a brighter and sustainable future.

Next article – “Pure greed”

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