Workers plan action to defend Bob Carnegie

Submitted by martin on 5 February, 2013 - 8:51

Australian construction workers and dock workers will take action on Monday 11 February in solidarity with Bob Carnegie, as construction bosses begin their court case to victimise him for his role in a successful construction dispute in August-October 2012.

In London, protest on 11 February, 1pm outside Broadgate Tower, near Liverpool Street station.

Paddy Crumlin, the National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), which represents dock workers, and the CFMEU, which represents construction workers, have called on their members to take action on 11 February. The Queensland Council of Unions has also backed the campaign and is lending its support to protests and other actions on the day.

The move represents a major breakthrough for the campaign in terms of winning official backing from major Australian unions.

Crumlin said: “The legal case against Bob is a simple case of corporate bullying. The actual dispute with Abigroup, which is owned by Lend Lease, was settled and, in fact, as part of the settlement, Abigroup agreed not to pursue legal action against a number of workers.

“But, they are putting a full legal press on against Bob. Bob faces a jail sentence and over a million dollars in fines, as well as thousands of dollars in legal expenses.

“What did Bob do during his support for the community protest? He acted in good trade union fashion, putting his passion, energy and solidarity to work.”

International support has also continued to flood in, with messages of solidarity received from the Swedish Dockworkers’ Union, the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA-ITF), All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU), Intersindical-CSC Catalan Workers’ Union, Trades Union International of Workers in the Building, Wood, Building Materials, and Allied Industries (UITBB-WFTU), and the Left Party of Luxemburg. British and Irish construction union UCATT also backed the campaign.

UK-based supporters of the campaign will also rally on 11 February, at 1pm outside Broadgate Tower near Liverpool Street, London. The tower was a major construction project for Lend Lease, the parent company of Abigroup (the company bringing the case against Bob).

Lend Lease is also involved in attacks on working-class communities in south London, where leaked documents recently revealed that its planned “regeneration” of the Heygate Estate, currently home to over 3,000 people, will provide just 79 socially-rented properties.

• London rally

• Brisbane rally

• Campaign supporters list

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