Wednesday, 7 May 2008

SUPPORT DAVE KERIN! - Aussie unionist faces prison for supporting striking workers

A call has come from Australian unionists to support Dave Kerin, who’s facing prison for refusing to “rat” on fellow union solidarity campaigners.

Dave is the co-ordinator of Union Solidarity, a network set up to organise solidarity for workers and unionists targeted by the Howard government's "Work Choices" legislation.

In the wake of the recent successful strike action by Boeing workers at Port Melbourne, in which Union Solidarity played an important role, the Australian Workplace Ombudsman has come after Dave Kerin and Union Solidarity.

The ombudsman is demanding all documents relating to Union Solidarity's support for the striking Boeing workers be handed over. Dave is refusing to do so. For breaking the law he could go to jail for 6 months.

These laws are unjust, they're designed to crush workers’ right to organise collectively and give practical solidarity.

We must support Dave and his fellow Union Solidarity campaigners.

You can sign up to an online solidarity list by going to

Messages of support for Dave Kerin can be sent to:

Please spread word of this injustice through union and activist networks in NZ.

Support Dave Kerin!

Union Solidarity coordinator faces six months jail

May 6, 2008

Union Solidarity Coordinator Dave Kerin is now facing up to six months jail for supporting striking workers at Boeing, in Melbourne.

The dispute recently ended in a victory for the workers.

Despite this, the Australian Workplace Ombudsman has issued Dave Kerin with a ‘Notice to produce documents’ in relation to the strike. Dave is being asked to supply a government agency with all information and documents concerning Union Solidarity, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and rank-and-file members by May 8.

Basically Dave Kerin is being asked to “rat”. He won't.

Why is the Workplace Ombudsman pursuing Kerin after the dispute has been settled and Boeing itself has no interest in pursuing him? It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Ombudsman wants to break Union Solidarity, which played an important role in the struggle against the Howard government’s hated Work Choices legislation.

Union Solidarity has said that it will not comply with the laws and those government agencies whose sole purpose is to prevent workers having the ability to organise to defend their interests.

In the last election the Australian people voted overwhelming to get rid of anti-union laws – Union Solidarity operates within the spirit of that sentiment.

The Socialist Alliance fully supports Dave Kerin in his stand and is asking workers and unionists to indicate their public support for Dave Kerin and Union Solidarity.

Go the following link:

Messages of support for Dave Kerin can be sent to:

For interviews contact: Margarita Windisch 0438 869 790. Email

The people’s struggle made Howard history, the people’s struggle continues

People before profits, planet before profits

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These documents are being requested by Australian Workplace Ombudsman:

“1. All documents recording any communication, contact, dealing or otherwise between any member, sponsor, volunteer or other person(s) affiliated with Union Solidarity, and any employee of, associate to, or representative of, the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU), in particular, those AMWU members currently employed by Hawker De Havilland Aerospace fty Ltd (the Company), which records or relates to any industrial action, either proposed, planned, discussed or taken at the Port Melbourne site of the Company;

2. All documents recording any payments, donations or financial assistance, howsoever described, received by Union Solidarity, or any member, sponsor, volunteer, or other person{s) affiliated with Union Solidarity, which was made by, or on behalf of any employee, associate to or representative of the AMWU. A contravention, without reasonable excuse, of the requirement to produce the documents identified in this notice is an offence under section 819 of the Act. Failure to comply with this notice could result in your being liable to imprisonment for up to 6 months.”

- from “Notice to produce documents” received by Dave Kerin.