On Friday 1st July 4,000 workers packed the Panthers Workers Club in Newcastle city center for a rally and demo, and another 1200 packed into a club in the suburbs. Over $8,000 was raised for Striking Boeing workers at the Williamstown Airbase who have refused to sign individual contracts.
Unfortunately the enthusiasm of these workers to fight back was not matched by their union leaders. Instead the ranks of workers from as far away as Gosford were ‘entertained’ by a highly stage managed rally, where there was no possibility to discuss or debate the best way forward.
Strike action was mentioned but only as a secondary action to convincing Liberal MPs of the errors of their ways. The one tactic that was greeted by some applause was the plan to ?name and shame? employers who tried to force their workers onto individual contracts.
By Samantha Ashby