The Guardian 29 June, 2005

Comrades discuss IR campaign

A meeting of CPA members drawn from the Sydney Branches, held on 26 June, discussed the Howard government’s industrial relations plans and the Party’s response.

Reporting to the meeting CPA Assistant General Secretary Warren Smith pointed out that the coming unprecedented attack on workers’ wages, conditions and capacity to take action is not an isolated event. It is part of a wider attack on the working class, in Australia and internationally, in the interests of big business.

Other elements of this attack include the wave of privatisation, deregulation, militarisation, taxation changes and abuse of the environment in the interests of maintaining the trend of rising profits.

The Howard government’s agenda is not simply an attack on trade unions. It is an attack on all workers and, flowing from this, an onslaught on their families and other members of the community — including small business which will suffer when wages go down, pensioners whose payments are linked to the minimum wage, and sport, culture, charities and churches which will be deprived of support when workers are forced to work longer hours.

Comrades will give emphasis in their work to a broader class analysis of the IR changes, to the erosion of democratic rights and to the nature of the capitalist drive for profits.

Comrades expressed their views on the current assault on workers’ rights and drew on their considerable experience of past conflicts and the lessons learnt from them.

The struggle will be a long one and workers should expect the new laws to be passed. However, they can be defeated by a mass campaign to make them unworkable.

Members agreed on the need for greater organisation, co-ordination and activity at both the Sydney District Committee and in all Branches, especially to ensure distribution of the Party’s national leaflet and to contribute to making the June 30/July 1 meetings and the August 7 picnic/protest are as large as possible.

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