Support Grows For Union Stance On Asylum Seekers

Letters of support flood MUA/CFMEU HQ in Sussex Street

 

When miners and maritime workers announced they were donating $10,000 to the asylum seekers on the Oceanic Viking last week, (Mining and Maritime workers donate to Oceanic Viking refugeesUnions give cash to asylum seekersthere was rapid response, from the media and the public.

To begin with the unions copped some flak among the accolades.  But after the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald ran the story today on hate mail, (See Racial backlash against union aid) there has been a flurry of support emails coming into the union rooms.

Here's just a sample:

SPIRIT ELEVATOR

My name is Sahana Balachandar and I am 15 years of age. I am an Australian born Tamil and am eagerly involved in the issue of the Tamils.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Union officials for the statement given by the Maritime Union of Australia. It is very heart felt.
 
I have never visited my home country, and I'm very disappointed about it. I can never visit my homeland the North and East of Sri Lanka.  Being a Tamil to keep a sense of home with me. I can only imagine the pain the Asylum seekers are experiencing, let alone the 300,000 back home.
 
I am very disappointed by the lack of support from the Australian politicians, and to receive statements from Australian organisations such as yours is a spirit-elevator.
 
I would like to thank your union for the statement given. It is good to see some support from the Australian public.
 
Sahana Balachandar
 
=>sAHaNa!:

YOU ROCK

I just wanted to say well done to the MUA for taking a stand for asylum seekers.  In an age when so many unions seem to have forgotten the principle of solidarity it's truly refreshing to see the MUA getting back to the roots of the trade union movement.  You've given me hope for the future.  

Cheers,
Liz Patterson

GHENGIS KAHN

Congratulations to the MUA for their humane stand on the refugee issue.

The only way anyone to the left of Ghengis Kahn can make ground on  this issue is to take the racists on head on.nHiding from it only encourages the right wing. Hang in there against the storm.

Tom Flanagan

Former wharfie and MUA member,

Sydney branch

PRINCIPLED SUPPORT

Dear comrades of the MUA and CFMEU, well done in your principled support for the Tamil refugees. Very much in the internationalist tradition of the Australian maritime unions. It's very important that more unions campaign on this to both to pressure the ALP and change public opinion.

In solidarity,
Yvonne Hartman PhD,
Southern Cross University,  

PROUD

Hi there, Saw you were getting some hate mail about your stance on asylum seekers. Thought I'd drop you a line and say it's actions like yours that make  me proud to be part of the labour movement.

Keep it up comrades

In solidarity

Marcus Strom
NSW Vice-President, Media Entertainment Arts Alliance
Secretary, Summer Hill ALP

INTERNATIONALIST TRADITION

Dear comrades of the MUA and CFMEU, well done in your principled support for the Tamil refugees. Very much in the internationalist tradition of the Australian maritime unions. It's very important that more unions campaign on this to both to pressure the ALP and change public opinion.

In solidarity,

Nick Fredman,
former branch secretary and national councillor, NTEU,
founding member, Northern Rivers Unionist Network,
founding member, Lismore Refugee Action Group.

GOOD JOB

Congratulations to the MUA and its members for your public support for the refugees!
Now we know why we stood on those wharves chanting "MUA here to stay!" in 1998, and good job we did too.
Don't back down, I just hope that other unions follow suit and help undercut the implicit and sometimes open racism in this debate, to say nothing of making the point that these asylum seeks, fleeing a war in which our government supports the government who is oppression the Tamils.

WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!
in solidarity
Sandra Bloodworth,
(retired, members of Socialist Alternative)

HATS OFF!

Upmost respect to you all for putting your money where your mouth is and doing something to help the people on the Oceanic Viking. The government keeps saying its Pacific 'solution' is somehow a humane version of Howard's one. It took the MUA and the CFMEU to show us what humanity really looks like. Hats off,

Aaron Benedek

Teachers Federation

DOWNTRODDEN

Hi, I just read the article in the SMH about the MUA receiving hate mail for its support of refugees. Because of this I thought I should write to offer my congratulations to the MUA for taking such a strong stand in solidarity with some of the most downtrodden people on the planet. It is in the finest traditions of the labour movement.

Corey Oakley
Editor, Socialist Alternative magazine
www.sa.org.au

DISGRACEFUL

Congratulations on your support for refugees. It is great to see the MUA taking a stand against the racist attacks on refugees. It is disgraceful that the Rudd government is effectively continuing with Howard's refugee bashing policies.
 
Workers of the world unite!
 
Mick Armstrong

SHOCKING

I think it is marvelous what you doing and shocking that you have been receiving so much hate mail.  In the face of a government uncertain of what it stands for or who it represents, the generosity and common humanity of your union members gives hope that a more decent Australia is possible.

 Kind regards,

 Jane Grant   

GOOD ONYA

for your support of the Refugees !
Joie

RACIST CLIMATE

Hi, I'm just writing to say I support wholeheartedly your fundraising and support for refugees. This is really important given the terribly racist climate we seem to be in Australia at the moment.
 
Adriana Trujill

MUA ALL THE WAY!

Dear MUA comrades, A quick note to offer our support and thanks for your stand for refugee rights and your generosity and humanity amongst the fear-mongering and antipathy being spread by the politicians.
You are inspiring comrades, and these actions are a true testament to what UNIONISM is all about.
In solidarity,
Jo Williams
(Proud NTEU executive member, VU)
Victoria University

HORRIFIED

Dear MUA comrades, Thanks for your humane stand towards refugees. I was horrified to read of the abusive letters you have received because of your stand. Unions have a better record than any other group in Australian society of standing up for human rights, against racism, and do on. No wonder successive governments (including the present one) continue to attack unions.
 
When the government fails to show any compassion, thankfully we still have unions that will.
 
In solidarity,
 
Diane
 National Tertiary Education Union.

INSPIRING

Dear Mr. Crumlin, I would like to express my appreciation for the comments and actions taken by yourself and the MUA in relation to the issue of asylum seekers. As university student and young person starting to get involved in the labour movement, it's really inspirational to see someone of authority actually fight for the moral and social principles on which labor was founded.

Sincerely,

Tim

ALL THEY CAN GET

You don't know me Paddy, but I congratulate you on your/our support

for the Sri Lankans.  These people need all the help they can get.

In Unity,

Dave Butler.

WITHOUT BORDERS

Dear Paddy, Thank you so much for the kind support you and your members are showing to the Sri Lankan asylum seekers on board the Oceanic Viking, and for the effort you're making to educate the Australian public about the issue.

In 2001, I spent 6 months working in the northern part of Sri Lanka, in the area then controlled by the Tamil Tigers, as a doctor with the organisation Doctors Without Borders. I got to know the people and their history very well, and learnt of the horrendous suffering that the people in this region had suffered as a result of the war and the atrocities committed by both sides in the conflict.

 I know very well that even though the war is now over, many people face tremendous hardship and persecution at the hands of the Sri Lankan government and have very good reason to be fleeing.

Around the time I came home from Sri Lanka was when the Tampa and the "children overboard" issues were going on, so I become very involved in the refugee issue and have remained so on and off ever since then.

I was utterly disgusted to hear in the news that Malcolm Turnbull is talking about bringing back an even harsher version of the temporary protection visas as part of the Liberals' 2010 election policy platform.

It would be heartbreaking to think that after all the progress that has been made on this issue in the last couple of years (albeit gradual) that a Coalition Government would get back in power on the same racist platform that they did in 2001.

 I was therefore absolutely delighted to then find out about the efforts being made by MUA and CFMEU members to help the asylum seekers' plight, and to read your article on the MUA website.

I know you've received quite a few negative emails in response to this, so I wanted to express my support and urge you to keep up the good work and maintain the struggle!

Very best wishes,

Tim Kirchler

TWO GREAT UNIONS

Paddy,

Good on you and you and the MUA and CFMEU, two of Australia's great unions, for raising this money and thank you for keeping the plight of these desperate people in the public consciousness.

It's good to see the union movement taking a stand on this critical moral issue.

In Solidarity,

Paris Dean

FANTASTIC

Hi, My name is Frances, I am an activist at Melbourne University and member of Socialist Alternative.

I'm writing to say how happy I was when I heard that the MUA has raised $10,000 to donate to the Tamils on the Oceanic Viking.  I am physically sick by the inhumane racist way they are being treated, so it fantastic to see the MUA coming out in support of these refugees.  

Thanks again and keep up the good work!
Frances

KIND SUPPORT

Dear Paddy, Thank you so much for the kind support you and your members are showing to the Sri Lankan asylum seekers on board the Oceanic Viking, and for the effort you're making to educate the Australian public about the issue. 

In 2001, I spent 6 months working in the northern part of Sri Lanka, in the area then controlled by the Tamil Tigers, as a doctor with the organisation Doctors Without Borders.

I got to know the people and their history very well, and learnt of the horrendous suffering that the people in this region had suffered as a result of the war and the atrocities committed by both sides in the conflict.

I know very well that even though the war is now over, many people face tremendous hardship and persecution at the hands of the Sri Lankan government and have very good reason to be fleeing.

Around the time I came home from Sri Lanka was when the Tampa and the "children overboard" issues were going on, so I become very involved in the refugee issue and have remained so on and off ever since then.

I was utterly disgusted to hear in the news today that Malcolm Turnbull is talking about bringing back an even harsher version of the temporary protection visas as part of the Liberals' 2010 election policy platform. It would be heartbreaking to think that after all the progress that has been made on this issue in the last couple of years (albeit gradual) that a Coalition Government would get back in power on the same racist platform that they did in 2001.

I was therefore absolutely delighted to then find out about the efforts being made by MUA and CFMEU members to help the asylum seekers' plight, and to read your article on the MUA website.

I know you've received quite a few negative emails in response to this, so I wanted to express my support and urge you to keep up the good work and maintain the struggle!

Very best wishes,

Tim Kirchler

COMMO BASTARDS?

Paddy, So some call you commo bastards for helping refugees? (SMH this morning)

Pity the Labor Party doesn't have more such commo bastards, or parliamentarians with spine.

Strength to your arm, you do your nation proud.

Paul Gill

GOOD ON THE MUA

G'day Paddy, 

 Just read the article in the SMH website. 

 Good on you, and good on the MUA and all the other unions that are taking a stand on this and helping out those in real need. 

 Keep up the good work!

in Solidarity,

Alex Mustafa.

VERY PROUD 

Dear Paddy, Just saw the story in SMH online about the abusive emails.  Please don't think everyone is like that. Some of us are very proud of the humane way the MUA has acted in this difficult situation.

So keep fighting the good fight and don't let the xenophobes get you down

Best

Larissa Edwards

COMPASSION

I have seen a report in today's Sydney Morning Herald saying that racists have been sending abusive e-mails to the MUA because of the support that you have shown for refugees coming to Australia.

I want to express my full support for the position that you have taken.

We are living in a world of economic insecurity, where destructive wars are being fought on the basis of lies (such as in Iraq) or on the basis of racism (Sri Lanka).  Floods of refugees are being created by this.

A previous generation of Australians, in the 1930's, faced a similar period.  It was those who stood for compassion, humanitarianism and international solidarity who are remembered as the heroes of that time.

The MUA obviously has learned those lessons and is acting in the best traditions of the Australian working class.

Be proud and be strong.  Racism and fascism create nothing but death and ashes!

Barry Healy

Civil Service Association

workplace delegate

Darlington WA 6070

ASYLUM SEEKERS

Dear Paddy Crumlin, Congratulations to you and your members for your support of asylum seekers, financially, morally and politically.

I read today in the Herald that your union has been abused for the stand.

When the racists and the anti-socialists start barking you know you are on the right track.

Keep going.

Cheers

Derek Mortimer,

Life member MEAA

Paddy Crumlin writes: Thanks Derek, we put a lot of it down to the damage inflicted on our society by Howard over a long period, damage not just limited to xenophobia and racism. Hearing Ruddock's line yesterday just reinforces how right we were to get rid of them before we were all seeking asylum in our own country

APPALLED

Personally I am appalled at this xenophobic reaction to an issue we as Australians have committed to should be taking leadership on.  I would just like to commend and support your efforts and those of the MUA who raised money for these asylum seekers, who are clearly desperate and fleeing a terrifying situation.  

Thank you.  It's efforts like these that should be inspiring our Government to reframe the debate on asylum seekers in a humanitarian fashion.

Hope you receive more positive emails because that is certainly what the MUA deserves!

Hopefully the 78 Sri Lankans onboard the Oceanic Viking get the Australian asylum they deserve.

Cheers

Patrick Simons

Paddy Crumlin writes: Thanks Patrick, We are a bit used to abuse having had a dysfunctional relationship with a previous abusive government, but it really starkly demonstrates how much damage Howard and Ruddock and co did on the Australian psyche. Racism and xenophobia are hard things to bottle up again once let go. Ruddock's comments yesterday were particularly galling in his attempt to lift the divisions again. Great political leadership, on song with the current opposition mostly. Your support is greatly appreciated mate

POOR BUGGERS

Your stand on the poor buggers on the Oceanic Viking is fuckin heroic. While everyone else is running around whining and peddling fear & racist crap, you guys made me proud to be Australian again. Good to see those that still have the guts to stand up for what's right instead of what's popular. in solidarity.

Scart

CHEERS TO PADDY

I'm proud to be a union girl.

Sometimes I get to hating this country I was born in, a country that keeps blasting other people's homes to bits and then denying refuge to the victims. 
 

Paddy and other unions were absolutely correct to appeal for the Tamils who have suffered through decades of war between two groups of people determined to fight to the end and hang the consequences, just as they are right to support the Afghans and Iraqis from wars we started. 
 
The hateful, racist and xenophobic need to tell us all which asylum seekers and refugees they hate and which ones they want to keep out.  

I searched through the Refugee review tribunal cases for September and October this year, bearing in mind that the hated boat people don't get to use the RRT, and discovered people has flown from - China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Lebanon, Russia, New Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Ghana, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Egypt, Poland, Jordan, Latvia, Bulgaria, Korea, Bangladesh, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka (Sinhala), Iraq, Iran, Israel and a few from various parts of the Americas. 
 
Each and every one of them had their claims heard fairly, they were not locked up and the total was 5,304 with only 922 on boats from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran with some Palestinians.   A total of 2300 + were granted protection with 424 from China and 364 from Sri Lanka, almost none of the 335 Indians and so on with 206 from the boats.  
 
Or perhaps they hate those from Burma, Sudan, Bhutan, Congo, Somalia, Liberia or Sierra Leone.   

If it is all of these groups I have really bad news - they are going to keep coming because we promised the world they could. 
 
 Surely they really don't want the government to really damage very damaged people even more do they and waste another $3 billion in the process like Howard did? 
 
Or don't they know that almost all the people Howard pretended to turn away are now here anyway? 
 

Marilyn Shepherd

SHRILL XENOPHOBIA

Dear MUA comrades,

As callers to talk-back radio become more shrill in their xenophobia against the refugees on board the boats at Tanjung Pinang and Merak, your union's humane and compassionate actions must be congratulated: they show real leadership. 

 The plight of these refugees (and others) must not be used to whip up racism, which always becomes a convenient distraction from criticising domestic and foreign policy. 

 Solidarity too with the struggle to keep the NSW ferries in public hands: 

Comradely
--

Pip Hinman

CONGRATULATIONS

Hi, I just want to congratulate the MUA for doing something positive about the crushingly inhumane response toward asylum seekers in Australia.  I feel very distressed to read about the xenophobia of a lot of Australian's, I guess this reflects how insecure they feel in their own lives in that they need to find someone/others less fortunate than themselves to "have a go at".  I would imagine this to be scapegoating. 

Politically and in terms of our rights as citizens, we Australians sit a little precariously and probably feel this stress.  Rather than do something about this (like join our respective unions to consolidate and grow our rights as workers, for example), many would prefer to scapegoat and blame "all our problems" on an issue and/or others who are in a much worse position.  I blame this squarely on political conservatism, "the third way" and a lack of clear alternatives to a better way of life that enshrines our rights as citizens and workers.

I am pleased to see unions do some of the "alternative" work and, at least at the moment, being a sole voice of compassion and humanitarianism.  It is a sad day when we cannot empathise with people who are likely fleeing for their lives.  Much needs to be brought to the Australians awareness and attention, such as the likelihood that the refugee situation is only going to increase with the addition of environmental refugee's that seems likely as a result of climate change and the changing seascape, especially in the Pacific.

Thank you for doing the work that is probably not terribly comfortable at this time.  Someone needs to provide a voice of reason and I am sad to think that there is not many in parliament or our government who are doing so.  It is a sad day when so many of us are indifferent to the suffering of so many.  Where has our humanity, compassion and care gone.

In warmest solidarity

Sanna Andrew

(PS. I am a union member of my own respective union, not because it gives me any benefits but because I believe that we should join as a united voice and to protect our rights of citizen as workers and to give solidarity to each other within the workplace AND across society.)

APPLAUSE

Hi Paddy, I just wanted to let you know that I applauded (on FaceBook) the MUA members who raised money for the Sri Lankan asylum seekers.

Please let them know that they are supported by many and to ignore the mean-spirited xenophobes still pining for Howard. May one day they will be faced with dogs and balaclavas!

cheers,

Trudy Bray

Paddy Crumlin writes: Thanks Trudy. Yes Mr Howard left our Australian community the great gift of fear even paranoia, racism and division. Long may he be remembered for it. Ruddock's belligerent comments yesterday were particularly galling. What a gang, still doing their nasty bitter work and proud of it. Great way to win political office for the current opposition

FUNDS FOR REFUGEES

Hello, I just wanted to pass on my heartfelt appreciation that the union workers are raising funds for the refugees.  Our society seems to be getting greedier and more self-focused by the day, and it's so good to hear that some people are thinking of others out there.  I don't think it would be easy being on the front line in the maritime industry and seeing the suffering of others. 

So thanks to those who are humane, generous, kind and selfless.

Jocelyn Williams

GOOD ON YOU

To whom it may concern, I am an ordinary citizen from Wollongong. I just wanted to send a message saying thank you for making your donation to the refugees onboard the Oceanic Viking on behalf of all Australians. Our politics and culture are dominated far too much by racism and xenophobia, and your union has taken a bold stance against that.

Keep up the good fight,

Patrick Harrison.

HATE MAIL

Just want to congratulate the MUA and the CFMEU for making a financial donation to the refugees.

Sorry to hear that you have been getting a lot of hate mail about this. I am Indonesian and really salute the maritime workers for your stance for our country's independence in the 1940s. I was glad therefore, when I heard about your donation of $10,000 recently to the refugees, to see that the union and its members still have the same courage your predecessors did action are still alive and well today.

Thanks again,

Vannessa Hearman

University of Melbourne

SUPPORT

I am a retired teacher and union official - awarded Life Membership of the NSW Teachers Federation, the TAFE Teachers Association and the Australian Education Union - former delegate to the NSW Labor Council (now Unions NSW), ACTU congress delegate and over 30 years active ALP member (Branch and Electorate Council office bearer, Conference Delegate and policy committee member) - now resigned in disgust. 

I totally support and welcome your principled stand on asylum seekers and condemn the Coalition's xenophobic dog whistling and the ALP Federal Government's mealy-mouthed pandering to the so-called 'middle ground'.

Al Svirskis

PROUD AND STRONG

I have seen a report in today's Sydney Morning Herald saying that racists have been sending abusive e-mails to the MUA because of the support that you have shown for refugees coming to Australia.

I want to express my full support for the position that you have taken.

We are living in a world of economic insecurity, where destructive wars are being fought on the basis of lies (such as in Iraq) or on the basis of racism (Sri Lanka).  Floods of refugees are being created by this.

A previous generation of Australians, in the 1930's, faced a similar period.  It was those who stood for compassion, humanitarianism and international solidarity who are remembered as the heroes of that time.

The MUA obviously has learned those lessons and is acting in the best traditions of the Australian working class.

Be proud and be strong.  Racism and fascism create nothing but death and ashes!

Barry Healy

Civil Service Association workplace delegate

BRAVE AND HUMANE

Dear MUA and CFMEU, I am writing to congratulate you both on your brave and humane support for the Sri Lankan refugees.

The mainstream media seems to be using them to fill pages and continue working peoples' antagonism towards each other as opposed to directing it toward the rich/powerful etc.

Your decision shows compassion whereas the government's and the media's show nothing but racism and bigotry.  Maybe if the Australian government stops completely backing the brutal chauvinistic Sri Lankan regime then there would not be the reason for their plight?

It is particularly ironic that this nation, apart from Aborigines, is completely made up of refugees and immigrants.  I believe, and I am speaking as a brown skin Brit of Indian origins, that if the refugees were white and from Europe, there would not be a problem....maybe I am wrong.

Keep up the great work and don't let the bigots and other assorted right wing scum stop you in your great work.

Yours faithfully,

Bart

University of Sydney,

 HATE MAIL

Hello, The SMH article about "hate mail" being sent to the union office in response to your thoroughly commendable moves to support the asylum seekers on the Oceanic Viking was forwarded to me.

I hope it was an exaggeration, but in either case I wanted to express my support and solidarity with your action

Regards

Alex Bainbridge
Perth, WA

MY SHOUT

Dear Paddy Crumlin and MUA members, I'm going to shout at you by email. Congratulations on your humanity!    

Christine Keavney

HUMANITARIAN

I would like to send my congratulations on your support of the Sri Lankan refugees. I am sure your support has encouraged and cheered them, and I hope this situation will soon  be resolved by our government in 
the best humanitarian way, by allowing them into Australia.

Lois Horton-James

ACTS OF COURAGE

Dear Comrades,

I am writing to congratulate you and lend my support for your outstanding acts of courage, kindness and solidarity towards the refugees currently on board the Oceanic Viking

These are people fleeing conflict and persecution, who deserve the solidarity and support of each and every one of us who can help, and you have shown the kind of compassion and leadership which is sadly lacking from our elected politicians at this point in time.

The Australian union movement, and especially the MUA and CFMEU, have a proud tradition of extending a helping hand to those in need, and I sincerely hope that no amount of xenophobic bluster and abuse will change that fact.

Once again, you have my full support and heartfelt congratulations for taking this stand on behalf of humanity.

Touch one, touch all!

In solidarity,

Duroyan Fertl

SOLIDARITY

Just wanted to say thank you for showing solidarity to the refugees. There need to be more organisations and people like you who take a stand against knee-jerk racism. 

In solidarity,

Tim Dobson

Hobart

SUPPORT

Hi Paddy,

Re today's item in Sydney Morning Herald, here is an email of SUPPORT!

Well done.

Regards,

Alynn Pratt (Member MEAA)

SHOCKED

Congratulations for supporting the Sri Lankan refugees! 

I am still shocked how little progress we have made in this debate since the days of the Tampa in 2001.

Yours in solidarity,

Jose Munoz

Killara, NSW

REFUGEE ASSISTANCE

Dear Mr Crumlin

Congratulations to the Maritime Union of Australia and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Mining & Energy Division) for such a compasionate and human gesture especially in these tough economic times.

Indeed a disgrace to see governments, Liberal & Labor, appeal to gutter politics and xenophobic sentiments to introduce tougher immigration and refugee policies. Policies that affect persecuted and desperate people who have been almost dessimated by war, deliberate physical racist attacks, whose only crime was to be born. Humans whose dire state led them to  seek asylum in a country they believed to be just and compassionate.

I have been moved by your display of solidarity. May you stand proud for this philantropic gesture, which only heightens your humanity. Thank you.

In solidarity

Marlene Obeid
Glebe 

BRAVO

Dear Mr Crumlin, 

I read the article in the SMH today about the emails you are getting on the MUA decision to raise money for the Oceanic Viking asylum seekers. Please add my name to your pile of supportive emails. 

I also read that your members had been referred to as "commo bastards", bravo on that as well.

Kindest regards,

Helen Pringle

GRATEFUL

G'day Paddy:  Saw the news item in the SMH today. Australians should be proud of your organisation and grateful that there are caring people in the community. Many thanks:  

Len Haskew

MORAL COURAGE

Congratulations for MUA's moral courage on Asylum Seekers

from Sylvie Leber

Refugee Action Collective

Victoria

HOSTILE?

Dear Comrades,

It has come to my attention that the MUA has collected $10,000 for the asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking.  Some people, apparently, are hostile to this.  I am not.  I support you all the way on your policy of compassion towards refugees.

And as for being "commo bastards", all I can say is that I wish you were.  And I wish my union was being as up-front in support of refugees as the MUA.

In Solidarity,

Greg Platt.

Q: What is a union?

A: The workers, of one or more workplaces, organised democratically to defend their rights & advance their interests.

COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP

Thank you MUA members

I would like to pass on my sincere support to you and your members for  
the humanitarian support you have given to the Sri Lankans aboard the  
Oceanic Viking.

You and your members have showed courageous leadership in this  
distressing period. You have showed compassion and humanity for those  
in need.

I don't think the humanity and compassion you have given these people  
make you a commo bastard. It shows tremendous leadership and solidarity.

It was the reaction that we should be treating these people rougher  
and we should be returning to Howards ways that really disturbs me.

I am a union member, and a member of APHEDA also. I know the gesture  
that what you and your members made was not a gesture of charity, but  
of justice.

Keep up the good work,

In solidarity

Andrew