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Issue #1902      February 10, 2020

Hands off Eureka!

The banning of the Eureka flag from construction sites by the Australia Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is an attack on the democratic values on which our society was built on.

The Eureka uprising on 3rd December 1854 marked an historical moment in Australian society. Its example has guided some of the most progressive and militant approaches to social change in the country, including the right to rebel and fight for our democratic rights. Workers stand truly by each other in their fight for their rights at work in solidarity with each other. The lone worker has no power but together they are invincible.

Australian governments have attacked those basic principles of solidarity and the right to rebel. The systematic attacks on workers and their trade unions, particularly the most militant such as construction workers affiliated to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), aim at weakening and ultimately destroying all unions.

The ABCC banning of the Eureka flag has been challenged by giant construction company Lendlease. This shows the contradictions among the business sector and the out of touch ideologically driven actions by the government. It is clear that union sites deliver quality, safer, more productive and profitable outcomes.

In a highly casualised industry such as construction the Eureka flag on building sites is a protection against wage theft. It means better wages and conditions, safety, union representation, site allowances, superannuation, redundancy pay, portable long service leave, rostered days off, annual leave, and holiday pay as well as income protection and other benefits out of the union membership.

The government wants lone workers who would be forced to work for less in a deregulated market. In a race to the bottom the cheaper the labour it means more profit for the bosses.

These are some of the reasons construction and other workers will fight to defend the people’s flag.

The Communist Party of Australia demands the abolition of the ABCC and calls on workers to mobilise in defence of the Eureka flag. Only with mass mobilisation we can get rid of the current draconian laws that criminalise the right to organise and impose huge fines on workers and their unions.

Next article – Final Declaration of the World Meeting

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