- Our Union
- Our Industries
Published: 19 Feb 2014
Yesterday, MUA Victorian Branch Secretary Kevin Bracken seized an opportunity to tell a 5000-strong crowd about attacks on maritime workers by employers who are supported by their conservative cronies in State and Federal Parliament.
Unionists and activists gathered yesterday outside of Victorian Trades Hall to protest the State Government proposed anti-protest laws, which give the police more powers to move-on protesters.
In addition, the new laws want to introduce exclusion orders on individuals and failure to observe the exclusion could lead to a two-year jail term.
Following Victorian Trades Hall Secretary Brian Boyd, the MUA’s Kevin Bracken, spoke of how big businesses are coming after workers’ rights and conditions, aided by the Napthine and Abbott Governments who are giving employers a leg-up by introducing laws to prevent rallies, to prevent freedom of speech and by introducing free trade agreements such as the TPP.
He mentioned Patrick as a particular example, saying the company was using tactics similar to those they used in 1998, when the stevedoring company - in cahoots with the conservative Government of the time - stood down their entire workforce with an aim to cut conditions, wages and bust the union.
After Bracken spoke the rally moved to Parliament House taking over the streets of Melbourne Central Business District.
On the steps of Parliament working class warrior Father Bob Maguire spoke, followed by Director of Advocacy and Strategic Litigation, Human Rights Law Centre - Anna Brown, Greens MLC - Sue Pennicuik and Paramedic - Morgyn McCarthy.
The crowd agreed to continue to fight against Napthine’s silencing act until such laws were dropped, or if passed, revoked.
More pictures here: