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Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 11:39:14 -0700
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
Subject: Solidarity with the Western Australian workers (fwd)

International letter of solidarity

From Petros Mashishi, President,
South African Municipal Workers Union
26 June 1997

By e-mail to:
The General Secretary
Western Australia Trades and Labour Council (WATLC)

Dear Comrades,

The South African Municipal Workers Union stands with you in solidarity against the anti-worker legislation that has just been passed in Western Australia. We understand from a study done by the ICFTU that this legislation will be the most draconian in the industrialised world.

SAMWU is currently fighting the privatisation of public services by multinational companies - a battle that goes hand in hand with the fight against the capitalist globalisation of the economy. Privatisation will mean that governments and the profit hungry private sector will become inextricably linked in putting profits before the needs of workers and communities. Globalisation will spawn an increasing amount of anti-worker laws worldwide, and it is vital that the international working class band together to heighten the struggle against neo-liberalism.

In South Africa, proposed Basic Conditions of Employment legislation allows for downward variation of employment standards. It is clear that both South African and Western Australian unions face losing rights won for workers after many years of hard struggle.

SAMWU believes that the legislation passed in your state is a thinly veiled attempt to crush the Australian labour movement completely. Southern Africa will not allow this to take place! Together with COSATU, we will mobilise our affiliates to take strong action against your government. If there is no sign that these fascist laws will be repealed by the beginning of August, we will begin mobilising for sanctions against Australia.

We wish you luck for your mass action today and assure you of our utmost support in your struggle.

Viva, Western Australian workers, Viva! Viva, a worldwide struggle against globalisation, Viva!

Petros Mashishi
President: South African Municipal Workers Union
on behalf of SAMWU's 120 000 members