Use Socialist and Green votes to send a message to unions and ALP leaders on workers' rights!

Submitted by Aussietrot on 21 November, 2007 - 12:17 Author: Riki Lane

Elect a Labor government! Campaign for unions to fight in the ALP against Rudd's policies and to use their industrial strength to defend workers' rights! Vote 1 Socialist 2 Greens 3 ALP.

Workers' Liberty sees the fight for union rights and against Work Choices as the decisive issue in this election. Howard and his gang of ruling class warriors have to be turfed out as dramatically as possible to drive home that workers will fight these attacks on our ability to organise.

It is in workers interests for an ALP government to be elected. The unions still have substantial weight in the ALP and could use that to affect ALP policy, although they have bowed down to the parliamentarians in this campaign. However, the ALP's "me-too" campaign has adapted a long way towards Howard's industrial relations laws - AWAs phased out over years and replaced by other sorts of individual contracts; the ABCC continues until 2010 and then is continued in another form; etc etc. So while an ALP government is a far better result for workers than the Coalition, it will mean only slightly lessened attacks.

Voting for Socialist candidates, e.g. from the Socialist Party and the Socialist Alliance, sends the clearest message that workers will stand up for our rights against an ALP government. These parties, whatever their flaws, take a clear position of campaigning for the unions to organise and fight and call for an ALP government to be elected. One exception here is the Socialist Equality Party - which is completely hostile to the entire labour movement, unions included, and refuse to call for an ALP government - we can't support their candidates.

The Greens have excellent policy on workers' rights: rip up Work Choices immediately, for a right to strike, immediate abolition of the ABCC, etc. They have committed themselves to voting for such measures in parliament. If elected to the Senate, they could only improve the limited rollback of Work Choices that the ALP plans. They also have better policy than the ALP in all areas, but especially on climate change. Their leaders have been seen on major picket lines, e.g. in the MUA dispute.

Because the Greens do not have the same structural links to the unions as the ALP, some Workers Liberty members are concerned that they are just a middle class party and voting for them is abandoning the unions' struggle inside the ALP. However, a number of union officials are Greens members and there has been a huge increase in financial and electoral support from unions for the Greens in this election. There is an emerging approach by some of the best left unions to maintain ALP affiliation and give financial and electoral support to Socialists and Greens.

A large working class vote for the Greens would: promote working class self-organisation and confidence; send a message to Rudd and the union leaders; and encourage the left union leaders to organise their ranks and to take up the fight inside and outside the ALP.

So Workers Liberty argues: give your first preference to socialist candidates where you can; then to the Greens: then to the ALP. Put the Liberals and Nationals last, except where there are far right candidates running - e.g. Pauline Hanson, One Nation, Citizens Electoral council etc. The best result for maximising the working class capacity to fight is: an ALP government elected; the Coalition parties decimated; and a large vote for socialists and the Greens.

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