The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) strongly condemns the recent decision of the Australian Courts to fine the CFMEU with the exorbitant amount of 1,25 million dollars for holding “illegal” protests at the Grocon Emporium site in Melbourne in 2012. The decision, was welcomed by the Grocon company as “what is a defining moment for the construction industry and the rule of law”.
This decision is a direct strike against workers rights and trade union freedoms in the country. This comes to show that even in the most developed countries, whether they are governed by neoconservative, social democrat or labor governments, trade union rights and freedoms mean nothing when it comes to safeguarding the interests of the capitalists and big corporations. Declaring the protests “illegal” was under the then labor government, the fine today is imposed by the neoconservative government.
This decision is in harmony with the strategic orientations of the IMF, the World Bank, the European Commission and the multinational cartels who have targeted the Right to Strike. The right to strike has been won through hard, long struggles of the World Working Class and it is the duty of all of us to defend it.
On behalf of the 86 million organized workers in more than 120 countries it represents, the WFTU, the international class oriented trade union movement rejects and denounces the anti-union and anti-labor attitude of the Australian government and courts and expresses its solidarity with the construction workers of Australia. We demand that the above mentioned court decision be taken back immediately and that the Australian government and justice system respect trade union and labor rights.