Tuesday 26 October 2010

Another Labor member threatened with expulsion

The ALP needs to be consistent when handling branch and regional conference resolutions regarding the State Government’s unpopular and unnecessary asset sale program, the Electrical Trades Union says.

The ETU secretary Peter Simpson, said reports of a resolution calling for the ALP to take disciplinary action against him for his stance of the issue, from the weekend's Labor regional conference in Rockhampton, will not have any impact on the ETU’s anti-privatisation campaign.

“However, I do note that, since the State Government announced the asset sales just after the State election last year," Peter Simpson said. "here have probably been more than 100 ALP branch and regional conference resolutions expressing rank-and-file opposition to the Government’s policy. So it will be interesting to see just how ALP officials handle this. If they act on one regarding me, then what about all those opposing the State Government’s controversial policy?"

Reports from the ALP conference also suggest the meeting was a bit of a shambles with many delegates actually walking out over the privatisation issue and many others so disgusted with the ALP’s direction on this issue they did not even bother to go.

“It’s also interesting to note the personal campaign the Parliamentary wing of the ALP has obviously determined to run against me, purely because we as a union have determined to put our members first and not the interests of a political party," Peter Simpson says. "We will continue this campaign right up to the next election, not because we’re anti-Labor, but purely on the basis that our members demand it."

The ETU’s anti-privatisation campaign is being run until the next State election to protest against the way the State Government announced and proceeded with plans to sell a number of State Government entities, including most of the profitable sections of Queensland Rail and massive State forests, which contribute to national and international sustainable logging practices.

The Rail Tram and Bus Union has condemned the attacks on Peter Simpson.

Reports in the media about the weekend regional ALP conference in Rockhampton said that the RTBU local branch did not oppose a motion calling for Simpson’s expulsion from the ALP. However the RTBU Rockhampton had no representatives at the meeting.

"Representation at this meeting was never discussed at a local Branch or any other RTBU meeting," Craig Allen, the RTBU’s Central District organiser said. "However, it is understood that two or three attendees at this meeting were members of the RTBU and there as ALP members."

"I am appalled at a stage-managed attack on a fellow trade unionist Peter Simpson, conducted by supporters of the local State Government member, Robert Schwarten," Craig Allen said. “The fact that a number of ALP members considered this motion to be contrary to the authority of a regional conference and thus out of order resulted in some members boycotting participation in this stage-managed attack on a sincere and principled fellow fighter against the sale of the state assets. My view is that if anyone should be expelled from the ALP it should be those members of Government, including Rob Schwarten, who are quite clearly breaching party policy by selling publicly-owned railways and other state assets.”

“Essentially what Rob Schwarten is attempting to do is distract people’s attention from the main game which is the imminent sell-off of all regional rail operations, against the wishes of between 80% and 90% of Queenslanders.”

Cairns ETU organiser Stuey Traill agrees that there is an orchestrated attempt to undermine the work of the unions who are outspoken against the state sell-off programme.

"There's obviously a few untruths being told by individuals that are doing nothing more than attempting to deflect attention from the perpetrators of privatisation. Peter Simpson deserves praise for leading the charge against privatisation," Stuey Traill says.

"It is not the ETU nor Peter Simpson that lead to the shameful situation in Queensland that ultimately lead to a wipeout in during the Federal election. These are our assets and the Labor Government does not have the right to sell them without a mandate from the people."

No comments: