Volume 8

The December 2 ABCC demo over here was very good; well over 2000 present maybe as much as 3000. Biggest contingents were from MUA and AMWU at around 1000 each.

Conference notes that the first federal Labor government in over a decade won the 2007 election on the basis of union and social movement organisation against the Howard government, as well as re-winning some working-class support though its commitments in the areas such as health, education and welfare.

While the Rudd government largely maintains support from progressive, broad left and union circles, its future responses, especially in the area of labour rights and action against climate change, are highly likely to disappoint many of its present supporters.

  1. The international financial crisis has provoked large numbers of people to question the capitalist system and the ability of the market to solve problems such as the threat of climate change. For the first time in a long time, people are starting to talk about public ownership and question why governments can instantly come up with the funds to bail-out the banks but never find the money to fix the problems in other areas such as health and education.
Conference resolves:

That Socialist Alliance draft a brief (no more than one A4 page) description of what Socialist Alliance stands for, to be given to those interested in finding out more/joining the Socialist Alliance. That the leaflet be generally in dot point form, illustrating the main points of Socialist Alliance policy.

That the Socialist Alliance policy leaflet be translated into as many community languages as practical and be made available to branches for use on stalls as a recruiting tool.

This Conference condemns the vicious attacks by the ALP and the mass media on Electrial Trades Union Southern Branch secretary Dean Mighell. The ALP’s smear campaign is designed to discredit a union secretary who has been prepared to criticise the ALP in public and back independent and progressive candidates in federal, state or local council elections.

Mighell has also been threatened by sections of the ALP machine that they are prepared to spend $500.000 to get rid of him at the 2010 ETU elections.

Conference notes the important role that Socialist Alliance trade unionists have played in building the campaign against the Australian Building and Construction Commission, in particular the role of Geelong Trades Hall secretary Tim Gooden, who initiated the “No Cooperation with the ABCC sign-on statement” and the first building worker demonstrations over the charges laid against CFMEU organiser Noel Washington.

The Socialist Alliance stands in opposition to the federal Labor government's seasonal worker scheme in the horticulture industry. Under the current trial, up to 2500 visas will be available over three years for workers from Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea to work in Australia for up to seven out of any 12 months.

Moved by: Dick Nichols.

As at the end of the 2007/08 financial year, Socialist Alliance National had $8,387.12 in its bank account and no debts outstanding, apart from a loan of $10,000 from a supporter which was given several years ago for an indefinite period.

Moved by: SA NSW Trade Union Committee.

Introduction

The Socialist Alliance National Executive has not produced a draft energy policy for the 2008 National Conference, pending the imminent release of the Rudd Government White Paper and the current UN climate change negotiations. It proposes that Conference adopt the following energy policy guidelines.

Moved: Stuart Munckton, Sydney Central.

The democratically elected government of Bolivian President Evo Morales, that nation’s first ever president to come from the ranks of the impoverished indigenous majority, is leading a process of change that aims to overcome 500 years of indigenous oppression and reverse two decade a brutal neoliberalism that has left Bolivia the poorest country in South America.

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