[Imc-zimbabwe] Free Craig Johnston! Australian Trade union leader
jailed for defending workers
glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Thu Sep 16 23:33:43 PDT 2004
Free Craig Johnston!
Trade union leader jailed for defending workers
Former Australain Manufacturing Workers Union Victorian secretary Craig
Johnston was jailed for nine months by the Victorian Supreme Court on 27
August for taking part in brief occupations of the premises of Skilled
Engineering and Johnson Tiles during an industrial dispute over job cuts
All social protest movements - the student movement, environment
movement, anti-racism movement, women's movement and others - as well as
the trade union movement, have at times occupied or walked through
premises. Sometimes this has resulted in damage to property.
No trade unionist or political activist should be jailed for taking part
in such a protest.
This nine month jail sentence is totally disproportionate. For all the
workplace deaths and injuries suffered by Australian workers every year
- including thousands of deaths caused by James Hardie asbestos products
- you won't find one single employer behind bars.
Despite 17 others being arrested during the industrial dispute at
Johnson Tiles in Melbourne in 2001, only Craig Johnston has been jailed.
The others either had their charges dismissed or received good behaviour
Some of the Johnson Tiles workers haven't worked since the dispute.
Johnson Tiles has not been prosecuted for stripping away the livelihoods
of the 29 workers, and yet one of the unionists defending jobs is in jail.
Fifteen unions in Victoria have signed a statement calling for the
release of Craig Johnston. We join them in calling for the immediate
release of Craig Johnston.
If you wish to add your name to this statement, email <sueb at dsp.org.au>
or post to: Free Craig Johnston Campaign, PO Box 12263, A'Beckett St,
Melbourne 3006, Australia. For further information, phone Sue Bolton:
Australia: Humphrey McQueen, historian; Michael McKeon, Music Students'
Representative, Newcastle University Students Association (NUSA); Peter
Boyle; Vanessa, Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific; Mehrdad
Valipour; Max Lane, Research Fellow, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch
University; Alex Miller, Macquarie University; Gilbert Quimpo,
Department of Political and Social Change, ANU; Lesley and John van der
Velden, Canberra; Terry Costello, CPSU Telecommunications Section
Secretary and CPSU national Councillor; Dale Mills, civil rights
activist, Sydney; Jean Cockram; Craig Greer ; Lesley Cockram; Manuel Piris
Canada: Kenji Kunitomi, Greg Albo, Toronto, Ontario;
India: Srilata Swaminathan,vice president, All India Central Council of
Trade Unions and president, All India Progressive Women's Association;
Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML) Liberation, New
Delhi; P.K. Murthy, All India Federation of trade Unions; Kunal
Chattopadhyay, Reader in History, Jadavpur University, Calcutta; Soma
Marik, Reader in History, RKS Mission Vivekananda Vidyabhavan, West
Bengal; Tapan Bose, Government Employees Union, West Bengal;
Japan: Japan Revolutionary Communist League;
Mauritius: Lindsey Collen, Lalit, Mauritius;
New Zealand: Maire Leadbeater, Member PSA; Matt McCarten, Leader of the
NZ Alliance Party and secretary of the Unite Workers Union; Youssef Mourra;
Philippines: Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino-Pinagsanib (PMP or Workers
Party of the Philippines-Merger);
Scotland: Steve Arnott, Regional Council, Highlands and Islands,
Scottish Socialist Party; Frank Ward, Secretary, Caithness & Sutherland
Branch, Scottish Socialist Party; Alister Black, SSP International
Committee; Bill Scott, Shop Steward, National Union of Journalists,
Scottish Socialist Party Group, Scottish Parliament; Tom Jones, St
Andrews, Scotland; Dr Lani Russell, SSP research and media unit,
Scottish Parliament; Lisa Young, Distribution Co-ordinator, Scottish
Socialist Voice; Jo Harvie, Editor, Scottish Socialist Voice; Roz
Paterson, Deputy Editor, Scottish Socialist Voice; Bob Goupillot,
Scottish Socialist Party (Midlothian Branch); Linda Gibson, Scottish
Socialist Party (Midlothian Branch); Les Robertson, branch organiser,
Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Branch, Scottish Socialist Party; Dr Patrick
Shaw, University of Glasgow;
South Africa: Dr. Dale T. McKinley (Anti-Privatisation Forum);
UK: Dr Andrew McGonigal, University of Leeds;
USA: Caroline Lund,Trustee and member of Executive Board, United Auto
Workers Local 2244, Fremont, California; Professor Brian Leiter,
University of Texas, Austin;
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