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all you loonie lefties...your mates are hard at it

  1. If this goes ahead the lot should locked up for good!!!

    And dont think tthey wont - read the last paragraph!!

    Crazy!!!

    Troop ban not true: ACTU

    David Wilson and Ian Haberfield March 02, 2003

    THE ACTU HAS dismissed a report claiming unions were considering bans to hit Australia's war effort in Iraq with industrial action.

    There was no way the ACTU would take action to affect troops, an ACTU spokeswoman said.

    The Herald-Sun Sunday newspaper reported today key unions were considering imposing work bans on equipment and food meant for Australian troops involved in a war on Iraq.

    It quoted Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary Leigh Hubbard as saying it would be an embarrassment if Australian unions did nothing about the war and that bans could be considered later this month.

    "Our position is that there are no discussions, there are no bans and that's it," the ACTU spokeswoman told AAP.

    She said she did not know if the quotes attributed to Mr Hubbard were factual but said the story nevertheless went far further than anything suggested by the quotes.

    "There's no way unions would affect troops, and their food and all of that sort of stuff," she said.

    "There's just no way we would do that to other working people."

    Earlier, a report claimed unions were drawing up plans to hit Australia's war effort in Iraq with industrial action. Under the plans, bans will be imposed on equipment and food meant for Australian troops.

    The move is set to be endorsed by the Trades Hall Council and the ACTU at a meeting this month.

    The Sunday Herald Sun understands union officials are considering approaching manufacturers to demand agreement that no material is sent to Australian forces fighting in Iraq.

    Approaches will also to be made to shipping and stevedoring companies.

    Retired RSL chief Bruce Ruxton has slammed the "unforgivable, abhorrent" strategy.

    Trades Hall Council secretary Leigh Hubbard is leading the push to impose bans.

    Mr Hubbard said it would be "a bit of an embarrassment if Australian unions did nothing about the war".

    "The union movement has to look at this issue," he said.

    "We need something more than a rally - something should be done," he said.

    "Traditionally you would think unions would consider the issue of bans.

    "We have a meeting with the ACTU later in the month - bans could be considered in our talks.

    "It will be up to the unions - potentially bans could be part of a response to the looming war."

    Key left-wing unions are also considering industrial bans in the event of war with Iraq.

    National Secretary of the militant Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union John Maitland refused to rule out industrial bans on material destined troops fighting in Iraq.

    He said political situation with Iraq would be discussed at a meeting next week. "There is a lot of concern with what our Government is doing."

    Dave Oliver, state secretary of the Amalgamated Manufacturing Workers Union, said his union was consulting "in regards to bans".

    "I gather there are bans on military equipment in England by unions - we would have to consider this," he said.

    "The broader union movement needs to expand its opposition to a war with Iraq. But we need more consultation regarding bans," he said.

    The state secretary of the Maritime Workers Union, Mick Cottrell, said any bans would operate "in conjunction with our federal people".

    Mr Hubbard said the THC was opposed to a war with Iraq "whether it was United Nations sanctioned or not".

    "The banning of material and goods would have to be worked out. It would be difficult - it would have to be targeted.

    "There have been previous bans on the movement of uranium goods to South Africa that have been successful."

    Former RSL state president Bruce Ruxton said bans on supplies destined for Australian troops serving in a war against Iraq were "unforgivable".

    Mr Ruxton said any delay in supplying equipment and materials could endanger the lives of our own soldiers.

    "I don't like to use words like traitor, but that (bans) would be an abhorrent act," Mr Ruxton said.

    "They're (militant unions) living up to form and if they go through with this they'll turn every Australian against them.

    "Any Australian stopping supplies to our own troops should be condemned. The fact that they are even thinking about it, saddens me," Mr Ruxton said.

    Opposition Leader Robert Doyle said he would write to Premier Steve Bracks and Prime Minister John Howard calling for legislation which imposed "sanctions against anyone acting against the national interest" during war.

    "This is nothing short of disgraceful," Mr Doyle said.

    "There is great naivety in the union movement if it doesn't think that world terrorists aren't laughing at them."

    Employment Services Minister Mal Brough, a former soldier, said the action could put lives at risk.

    "This is about as unAustralian as it gets," he said. "It's extremely stupid and shows great disloyalty.

    "(If troops) don't have the proper equipment within the right time-frame, lives will be at risk."

    Anti-war industrial bans have a long history in Australia. Before World War II, waterside workers refused to load pig iron for Japan on the grounds it could be used for war. Coal miners downed tools during the conflict.

    And during the Vietnam War there were a series of strikes and bans put on supply and troop ships by members of the Waterside Workers Union and the Seaman's Union.



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