Militarizing the Australian Waterfronts
To The Honorable John Howard,
Dear Prime Minister,
We gathered from information from fellow public sector unions worldwide, the extreme predicament besetting workers in Australian waterfronts particularly the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
Each day we received data on how privatization as a policy-dictate of IMF-World Bank is adversely affecting public workers in various countries. On this note, it is incumbent upon us to unite in solidarity to strengthen our campaign against privatization.
We firmly support the struggle of MUA to defend their jobs in the face of a threat of mass lay-off as a result of privatizing the water services system of Australia. As proven in our recent experience in the Philippines, workers have the right and must resort to militant actions to defend their right to security of tenure.
We believe that no government must sacrifice the welfare of its workers favoring private interests more particularly the monopoly capital out to grab public services for higher super profits.
It is alarming that the government of Australia may have something to do with the reports that mercenaries are now being recruited to replace the legitimate workers in the waterfronts of Australia.
It is already bad that the workers are being terminated, worse is to bring among them mercenaries trained to break their militant actions and sabotage their union. To our comprehension, this is a direct violation of union rights to act collectively and hu man rights to redress grievance.
We find truth to the said information as we, the public sector unions in the Philippines, are encountering the scheme being perpetrated by the Philippine government under President Fidel V. Ramos.
Government employees are being recruited in place and trained as army reserved units like Philippine Association of Army Reserve Units (PAARU) under the direct supervision of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The purpose is to spy on their co-employees and to act as scabs and strike-breakers during protest actions.
Thus, we call upon the Prime Minister to immediately look into the plight of workers in the waterfronts and take action in on-going schemes violating the rights of workers more specially if such are being perpetrated or tolerated by government officials.
NO TO MILITARIZATION OF THE BUREAUCRACY!
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!
FERDINAND R. GAITE
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