UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES THURSDAY 30TH JULY 2015
TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM

The President, Com. M. Issanchson occupied the Chair.

PRESENT:  M. Lennon [Secretary], M. Morey [ Assistant Secretary]

OPENING OF THE MEETING:The President, Com. M. Issanchon opened the meeting and in doing so recognised the traditional owners of the land on which the meeting was held, The Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

 

MINUTES:

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

"That the minutes from the meeting of 9th July 2015 as circulated be received”.

Com. G. Welsh seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the minutes of the meeting of 9th July 2015 be adopted”.

Com. P. Byrne seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

From:   The Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia:- appointing Graydon Welsh in place of Mark Edwards for tonight’s meeting.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

“That the credential be received and the delegate welcomed.”

 

Com. J. Davidson seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: E. Maiden, R. Collison, B. Holmes, A. Claassens, B. Smith, J. Kiejda.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com. G. Way seconded.

CARRIED

MOTION OF CONDOLENCE: 

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon advised delegates of the passing of Kevin Cook, an Aboriginal man of the Nandandian Nation from the South Coast of NSW. A very special person whose life touched many who knew him.

Kevin was a lifelong member of the Labor Party, a Trade Unionist, Aboriginal fighter for his people and all people and a man loved and admired by all who knew him.

Kevin was involved with the Trade Union Committee for Aboriginal Rights; Tranby Aboriginal College at Glebe, CEO for the ACTU Aboriginal and Islander Committee; Australian Council of Churches Aboriginal Committee; National Secretary of the National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisations; Chair for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council; Aboriginal Affairs Committee of the Australian Labor Party, NSW Branch to name a few including an Organiser with Jack Mundy’s BFL in the 1970’s.

Kevin was a great mate and comrade to all who knew him and loved him.

MINUTE’S SILENCE WAS OBSERVED

EXECUTIVE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union:- calling on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to drop a charge laid against a CFMEU organiser for doing nothing more than advocating higher wages for the Union’s members. ACT based construction organiser John Lomax has been charged over an Enterprise Agreement negotiated between the CFMEU and Canberra painting company Nel Trading and its principal, Woong Yul Park.

The AFP “Statement of Facts” on the case states that the CFMEU’s primary role is “to negotiate and secure improvements in working conditions and wages as well as ensure safe practices are abided by.” The police have totally over reacted by charging Mr Lomax with blackmail in relation to what was, after all, a normal enterprise agreement. Mr Lomax has denied the charge and it would be vigorously defended. Achieving a pay rise for workers is not blackmail.

Unions are there to get better wages and conditions for members and that is what Mr Lomax has done. It seems that in the eyes of Tony Abbott’s Trade Union Royal Commission, asking for a pay rise is a crime.

The Enterprise Agreement, struck in March 2014, had not resulted in any financial gain to Mr Lomax and there was no evidence to substantiate the charge. The Union is fully prepared to stand by our organiser, John Lomax and assist him to have this malicious charge dismissed, as we expect it will be when the matter comes before the ACT Magistrates Court. 

In 2013 Nel Trading had paid workers thousands of dollars in back pay after they appealed for help from the CFMEU because they were being underpaid.

The CFMEU said the action of the AFP should be condemned and the Abbott Government condemned in criminalising the work of the Union in achieving decent wages and conditions for its members.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved the Executive Recommendation:-

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW condemns the Abbott Government and TURC in seeking to criminalise union officials and delegates for advocating for better pay and conditions for workers.

Further, Unions NSW condemns the Abbott Government for politicising the Australian Federal Police and seeking to intimidate unions and their officials”

Com. R. Mallia seconded the resolution.

CARRIED

2.  From The Millers Point Community Working Party:- concerning the sale of the Sirius Building in the Rocks. We understand that there was an agreement that the building would not be knocked down and that if it was proposed a Green Ban would be re-instated.

At this stage an attempt was being made to protect Sirius by having it declared as heritage but we are nervous that the NSW Government may not accept heritage listing of the building.

We believe that the building should be retained at all costs and ask that Unions NSW vote to install a Green Ban on the Sirius Building to save this icon of how public housing should be approached.  

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved the Executive Recommendation:-

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW convene an urgent meeting of the relevant building and construction unions to consider the request of Millers Point Community Working Party associated with the sale of the Sirius apartment building.”

Com. P. Kelly seconded the resolution. 

CARRIED

3.  From Maritime Union of Australia:-  advising August 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic weapons towards the end of WWII.  In that event, 210,000 were immediately incinerated and many more were seriously injured by radiation which caused many ongoing social health problems for the victims.

We note that in the foyer of Unions NSW building is the slogan “Unions work for peace – NO War”. As Unionists, we know the impact of war falls heaviest on the working class, both in terms of loss of livelihood and ultimately, loss of life.

On the 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki, it is more important than ever to pursue peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons, via an international nuclear weapons convention or some other form of multilateral treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons. This has been brought into focus recently as China and the US have escalated hostile rhetoric over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea. 

The MUA said it was time to renew our commitment to peace as we mark the 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima, the end of WWII and we call upon affiliates to resolve to reaffirm their commitments to global peace and solidarity.

Further, requested Unions NSW endorse the activities to mark the anniversary.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved the Executive Recommendation:-

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW reaffirms their commitment to global peace and solidarity on the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima.”

Com. C. Drane seconded the resolution.
Com. Denis Doherty spoke.

CARRIED

4.  From Maritime Union of Australia:-  advising of a rally at Hutchinson Container Terminal, Port Botany.

The MUA advised that as part of their “restructure”, Hutchison’s announced they were not seeking any new contracts and offloading current ones. The scale of the announced redundancies and the volume of work that the remaining contracts provide would enable the introduction of a fully automated terminal in late 2016.

The MUA would rather negotiate with the company in an attempt to resolve whatever difficulties the company claims are affecting its business.

However, Hutchison’s seem intent on provoking a dispute and cultivating waterfront disharmony, rather than complying with its obligations under the Enterprise Agreement and negotiating in good faith around the introduction in new technology. The similarities to the 1998 lockout are for all to see.

There is a stop work meeting scheduled for Monday 3rd August 2015 at 10am. This will be followed by a rally outside Hutchison’s Port Botany Terminal at Gate “B”, 153 Foreshore Rd, Port Botany.

The Rally will start assembling at 12:45pm for a 1pm start.

The MUA seeks the support and participation of Unions NSW and its affiliates, by way of attendance at Monday’s Rally.


The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved the Executive Recommendation:-

That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW supports and urges affiliates to participate in Monday’s rally.”

 

 Com. P. McAleer seconded the resolution.

 CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.  Adam Goodes

The union movement stands in solidarity and support of Adam Goodes.  The football field is Adam’s place of work. Racism is unacceptable in any shape or form but is particularly unacceptable in the work place. The union movement oppose all forms of discrimination and calls on workers everywhere in solidarity with Adam to stand up and speak out against racism in all forms.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be received”.

 Com. P. Reid seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

"That the report be noted and motion adopted”.

 Com. S. Bean seconded.

 CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.   Stop the China FTA Rally - 12 Noon Friday 31st July 2015
      Outside NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney


2.  
The Future of Work in the New Machine Age Seminar
       7:00pm Thursday, 6th August, 2015 -Trades Hall Auditorium

       RSVP: laborsciencenetwork.com/futureofwork

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT  6:00 PM

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