Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Does the PM need new specs?

The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in welcoming and thanking those who attended the Community Cabinet meeting at Elizabeth High School last night, made a point of praising his own government's economic achievements over the past year.

Ironically, the meeting was held not far from the magistrates court at which Ark Tribe will be facing a sentence of six months jail in less than two weeks time.

Besides other things, the PM pointed out the infrastructure package he and his team had developed which has assisted small business and kept workers employed. He highlighted the Northern Expressway and the bridge his minister had just opened as a good example of what his government is building. Overheard from a worker in the audience was, "I can't remember seeing any of that lot up the front helping us on the job".

Ark Tribe was also observed at the meeting along with about 400 other citizens.

When the Prime Minister had finished his speech, he asked for questions from the good citizens.

Ark Tribe was standing up at the back of the hall with his hand up. All the audience in front of Ark was sitting down. Many questions were asked and each question was meticulously answered by the PM and/or the minister concerned. Ark Tribe remained standing, hand raised hopefully on each occasion.

The PM called for the last question and Ark Tribe, still standing with hand up and everyone seated in front of him, still couldn't be seen by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

One would have to conclude that the PM deliberately ignored Ark or he needs new glasses.

At the conclusion of the meeting I approached Ark Tribe and asked him what question he wanted the PM to answer. He replied with the following: 

"Why is it, that as recently demonstrated by Mr. Turnbull, he like most other Australians can exercise their right to remain silent, yet I as an Australian Construction Worker who only demands the same right, find myself in a situation where your government is trying to imprison me for 6 months?”

“All I want, Mr. Prime Minister, is a fair suck of the sauce bottle mate."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stand Tall – for Ark Tribe

Come gather round and listen
To the thunder rolling in,
‘Cos the rich are trying to break us
And we’re not gonna let them win.

Well they tried it on the wharfies
With scabs and thugs and lost,
So how to break the building sites
Where the workers won’t be bossed?

“We own the law, we own the courts
And that’s the key to their defeat:
We’ll give the workers six months jail
For every time they meet!”

The workers met on safety
And Ark Tribe led the way,
So Gillard’s thugs decided
That he would have to pay.

“If your name it is Ark Tribe
Come to our interrogation –
You’ll have to dob your mates in:
That’s the way we run this nation!”

“Oh my name it is Ark Tribe
And I ain’t gonna talk to you.
My freedom flies with the Southern Cross
And there’s nothing you can do.”

“If there’s anything that I’ve done wrong
I’ll take your jail, that’s fine!
But killing fifty men a year
Is the bosses’ crime, not mine!”

“As for your Liberal and your Labor,
To me they look the same
With Howard’s rotten laws served up
In Julia Gillard’s name.”

“Well, I’d a-ridden with Ned Kelly
I’d a fought with bold Ben Hall,
‘Cos it was wild colonial boys like these
Who taught us to stand tall.”

Well, if Ark Tribe’s put in prison
By their “tough cop on the beat”,
The wild colonial boys and girls
Must get out in the street.

And we must ride like Edward Kelly,
We must fight like bold Ben Hall,
‘Cos it was wild colonial boys like these
Who taught us to stand tall!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Who's policing the bosses?

You don't have to look too hard on the ABCC's new look website to find out what this coercive and undemocratic organisation is all about. Despite the Federal Government's claim that the ABCC is charged with making construction sites fair and equitable for both employers and workers, their current cases list says it all. Not a single prosecution against an employer to be found.

With the ABCC's powers completely intact under the Federal Government's so-called Fair Work Act, we can look forward to more attacks on union officials and construction workers. Meanwhile, employers are reaping the financial benefits of Rudd's economic stimulus package while continuing to underpay workers, ignore OH&S law, hold back worker entitlements and take advantage of migrant workers.

So who is policing the bosses? Why no one of course, it seems they're above the law.