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Party Statements

Letter to all Branch’ Secretaries

CPA Secretariat Statement – False allegations and clarification

July 2019

Comrades of State & District Committees, branch secretaries and unattached Party members, we issue this letter as a matter of clarification on the false allegations by former general secretary Bob Briton and the so-called ACP.

On Thursday 11th July the ACP posted on FB false allegations of wage theft. The FB account used was stolen from the CPA by them, and in that recent post the ACP admitted having done so.

Bob Briton was employed and paid for his work as a writer for the Guardian. He was employed for 20 hours per week and like all those employed to work on the Guardian he took paid recreation leave during the period of non-production from about mid-December to the third week in January the following year.

Bob was not employed as general secretary; this was his duty for the privilege of serving the Party. Like many other Party comrades advancing the interests of the working class and the struggle for socialism we tirelessly work many hours per week. Most of this work is voluntary for example the General Secretary and National President are not paid. On the contrary the Party is supported by our pledges and through our commitment we give our labour on a voluntary basis and both are requirements of membership. Bob did have an expense account of $5000 to support that role that was topped up regularly as receipts were received.

The ACP is claiming that Bob worked in excess of 60 hours per week and took only a couple of weeks leave across the whole period. Bob has been demanding thousands of dollars in compensation for work he was never employed for.

When leaving Bob also took property such as digital files the CPA paid for as part of the CPA archive project and he knew in advance that our intellectual property such as the FB page was being taken and did nothing to prevent it. Our FB page had more than 10K likes. When approached to return these his last response by SMS was to get stuffed.

Bob’s entitlements were determined for us by an independent accountant based on his employment as a journalist at the Guardian. Unhappy with the calculation for the termination payment Bob approached a union to represent him. In his claim with the union he told them several lies (blurring Party work with his Guardian employment) and omissions (such as not disclosing the 5 paid weeks of leave annually) to build up an exorbitant claim which has no leg to stand on. We believe that our calculations are correct and the payment made to him is in excess of his entitlements.

In the midst of our negotiations with the union, the ACP decided to publicly accuse the CPA of wage theft through a post that is still up on their website and social media. In that post they called on people to harass the Party President and to post on our social media. We informed the union that we will not negotiate with Bob on social media and as such we viewed that our negotiations with the union had been voided. Bob has been paid the termination payment calculated by our accountant.

We ask all branch secretaries to clarify this act of treachery by the CPA former general secretary. We are pleased at the discipline being shown by Party comrades to not be baited into responding through social media. This shows we can be very disciplined and is a credit to you all.

In comradeship, CPA Secretariat

(See PDF of statement)

WARNING: To all fraternal SolidNet Parties

A message from the President

June 24, 2019

It has come to our attention that Bob Briton, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia who resigned from the CPA on 21st March 2019 with a handful of members has contacted a number of fraternal Parties with an invitation to attend the foundational Congress of the so called Australian Communist Party, ACP at the end of June in Sydney.

This has created confusion among some of the parties with whom the CPA has historic fraternal relations. A number of Parties have written to us asking for clarification after being contacted by Bob Briton on behalf of his splinter group.

Please be aware that the Communist Party of Australia remains united around its new leadership led by comrade Andrew Irving. We felt it necessary to clear up the confusion this has created and to clarify the situation for all our fraternal Parties.

In solidarity,

Vinnie Molina
Party President, CPA

(See PDF of statement)

Federal Elections

CPA Central Committee Executive statement

May 19, 2019

The re-election of the Coalition to the federal government has been a blow to the organised working-class movement and progressives in Australia. The Central Committee Executive is concerned about the consequences on working people of the election results.

We can expect that the war on workers will continue and deepen. That attacks on unions will be stepped up and that wages and living standards will continue to decline. The Coalition relied on an exchange preference deal with the Clive Palmer-led United Australia Party that spent $60 million dollars in an advertising campaign that was more geared towards attacking Bill Shorten and the ALP than it was about getting the UAP elected.

The trade union movement can use this experience to learn about the importance of working in an even more united way with the community against the common enemy in the interest of working people.

During this election campaign working people were successfully wedged between jobs and the environment. The destruction of the Galilee Basin through open cut mining now seems guaranteed not just for Adani but also for Palmer and many other mining companies who are operating leases in this area. In an unprecedented development Clive Palmer bought the election result for the conservatives and personal gain.

The political struggle to protect the Murray-Darling River from corrupt water allocation and buy-back schemes will be of significant importance.

The big weakness in this election has been the failure to build a left and progressive alternative. The Communist Party of Australia commits to continue to work with others to build this alternative.

Central Committee Executive

May Day 2019

CPA statement

May 1, 2019

The Communist Party of Australia congratulates workers who have taken militant strike action in Sydney and in cities around the world to celebrate May Day, the international workers day.

May 1st is our day to celebrate the unity of workers of the world, their commitment to internationalism and class struggle. This is an outstanding display of class solidarity in opposition to the attacks of the capitalist system, governments and employers on working people which has resulted in a downward spiral of living standards.

The actions of the Sydney Unions is a militant return of May Day to its class conscious roots of struggle against employers and governments that support capital.

Workers are taking to the streets demanding that the rules have to change so that the Australian working class have the right to strike and to broaden bargaining rights across industries so they can break away from shackles placed on the organised working class by enterprise agreements.

CPA General Secretary Andrew Irving said, “The CPA supports the Change the Rules campaign and believes its demands should be sharpened to highlight the main issues such as the right to strike, to allow solidarity between workers in different industries and supply-chain bargaining. We strongly support the action of workers to strike on May Day as part of a campaign to achieve these demands. The CPA is participating and gives its full solidarity”.

The Communist Party of Australia congratulates the leaderships of the MUA, CFMEU Construction for taking this initiative and for the participation of the AMWU and ETU. The CPA also welcomes the support of student climate strike representatives for the May 1 Sydney actions noting that the broadest movement is required in the struggle against the capitalist system.

CPA President Vinnie Molina has been invited by the Cuban Workers’ Central, CTC to share the celebration of May Day with Cuban Workers in Havana.

Comrade Molina said, “It is an opportunity to stand with the Cuban workers, their unions and government against the US blockade and implementation of the Helms-Burton Act. This is unacceptable intimidation of the Cuban people and the world must condemn the Trump administration’s decision to strengthen the US blockade of Cuba and Venezuela.

“The CPA stands in solidarity with Cuban and Venezuela Workers and condemns the inhumane blockade of both Cuba and Venezuela. We support and seek worker solidarity with President Nicolas Maduro and those in Venezuela who despite the threats are building the Bolivarian revolution.”

The Communist Party of Australia sends its solidarity greetings to all Australian workers, to all our fraternal Communist and Workers Parties internationally and all workers and oppressed peoples in struggle for their rights, liberation and real change wherever they may be.

Long Live May Day!
Long Live Internationalism!
Long Live Peace and Socialism!

New leadership

CPA Central Committee Statement

April 2019

On the weekend of April 13-14 2019, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia, elected a new leadership led by General Secretary Andrew Irving and National President Vinnie Molina. Comrades Liz Hulm & David Matters have been elected as Assistant Secretaries and comrade Elias Alevizos elected as Vice-President.

The CC unanimously endorsed the CPA Secretariat’s statements made in the wake of the resignation of former General Secretary Bob Briton. The new collective leadership will continue on the path laid out by the decisions of the Party’s 13th Congress to take the Party to the people.

The CPA is experiencing growth, particularly among workers and young people. “We are determined to take the Party to the people and build a political force that can change Australian society in the interests of working class people,” said General Secretary Andrew Irving.

“The sudden resignation of an individual will not distract the Party from its main objective of the struggle for a more humane, progressive and just society; a Socialist society” Irving said.

We campaign with workers, unions and the youth for real change and to oppose the ongoing attacks on workers’ rights, wages and conditions. This includes defeating the Coalition government at the federal elections on May 18. We believe that any incoming Labor government will have to be held to account by workers and their unions by continuing the struggle to achieve the right to strike and industry bargaining. This struggle will only be won through concerted mass activity outside Parliament.

The CPA recognises that a change in government is not enough to change the system. The election of a Labor government should not disarm workers and their unions or lead to a reduction in the struggle for their rights. It is an imperative for workers and their families to defeat conservative forces and continue the fight for new rights and to build socialism.

We will stand shoulder to shoulder with workers in workplaces, on picket lines, with the community in fighting for access to free education and health, jobs and public housing.

We reject the capitalist neo-liberal agenda and the drive to war and will continue to fight for a better and safer world for all – a socialist system where real justice and social equity and a safer and cleaner environment can be delivered.

We stand tall in solidarity with people around the world defending themselves against capitalism and imperialism, for their right to determine their future, social justice, workers’ rights, peace and a sustainable planet.

Announcing Andrew Irving as the Acting General Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia

CPA Secretariat statement

March 27, 2019

To all fraternal organisations, international parties, friends and supporters

This is to inform you that Comrade Andrew Irving is currently acting General Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia working together with President Vinnie Molina and the Party’s leadership team.

This has followed the abrupt resignation of Bob Briton from his position as General Secretary on the 21st March 2019. Briton has also cut ties completely with the Communist Party of Australia, CPA.

This resignation is not the first time that Bob Briton has taken this path in Party life. His revolutionary activity has been marked by ups and downs and he has lost perspective of the struggle and of the role of the working class in leading revolutionary change. This resulted in feelings of disillusionment and left him unable to cope with the enormous demands of leading a revolutionary Party struggling to change the capitalist system to socialism.

Unfortunately, despite his contributions, Bob Briton isolated himself from the rest of the Party’s leadership. In his resignation letter Bob Briton highlighted what he perceived as weaknesses in the Party he led which he felt incapable to address. These matters largely revolve around questions of youth where Bob had consistently rejected CC decisions and was not willing to work with the youth inside Party structures. The former General Secretary adopted a defeatist position and opted for the easier path of stepping down from his position leaving the Party in an unprincipled way.

The Central Committee Secretariat has accepted Bob Briton’s resignation and relieved him of all Party responsibilities nationally and internationally.

In a final spectacular act of betrayal Bob Briton called on comrades to follow him in an attempt to split the Party, particularly aimed at taking with him young activists working among the youth. His actions have included deleting the Party’ social media accounts. These will be restored in due course.

We are happy to report that all Party organisations have rallied with the leadership reaffirming their commitment to the Marxist -Leninist Party and the struggles of the working class.

In socialism, CPA Secretariat

(See PDF of statement)


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