Yesterday, National Secretary Paddy Crumlin called on comrades throughout the union to take part in community rallies in support of Bob Carnegie. Today, Crumlin dispatched a letter to Lend Lease, the parent company of Agigroup, pledging to take the Bob Carnegie defence campaign across the globe.
The full letter follows:
6th February 2013
Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
30 Hickson Road
Millers Point NSW 2000
Dear Mr. McCann:
I write in regards to the legal cases facing Bob Carnegie. Abigroup, a subsidiary of Lend Lease, is aggressively pushing the contempt of court charges against Mr. Carnegie in what can only be viewed as retribution for the industrial action undertaken against Abigroup.
This position serves no useful purpose to your company. As you know, the actual dispute, which led to Mr. Carnegie’s support of a community protest, is long over with a negotiated agreement now existing between Abigroup and the workers.
In fact, continuing to prosecute this case against Mr. Carnegie will do harm to your company’s image in the community and its long-term relations with its workers. The picture people will see is that of a large, powerful company trying to destroy and bankrupt one individual.
Indeed, it puts your company at odds with basic democratic Australian values: the right to free speech and the right to support your co-workers.
Due to the unfairness of the actions, I can assure you that I will not only be agitating on behalf of my union in the public arena in Australia but I will be taking up this matter within the International Transport Workers, the 5.1 million –member federation of which I am president. In addition, the matter will come before the International Trade Union Council, whose General Secretary Sharan Burrow is deeply concerned about this matter. Together, we will be considering what actions should be taken to ensure that you remedy the matter by withdrawing the legal matters and move on so that further constructive relationships between the workers and your company can be delivered.
I can also assure you that I am part of a network of concerned community activists in Australia that will be protesting in the strongest terms possible outside your offices at the commencement of the court case to further ventilate the unfairness of this unfair and counterproductive action of Lend Lease.
I regret taking this action, which is highly likely to bring Lend Lease into international disrepute. And, again, on behalf of the Maritime Union of Australia, I urge you, in the strongest terms, to revisit the matter and terminate all legal proceedings. I await your response to this matter.
Maritime Union of Australia
Cc: Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Council
Cc: Steve Cotton, General Secretary, International Transport Workers
Cc: Dave Oliver, Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions