Unions are organising demonstrations in support of construction worker Ark Tribe, prosecuted under the Building and Construction Industry Improvement (BCII) Act.
Update: A court decision on Ark's case is due in late September 2010.
Ark Tribe could face six months' jail for trade-union activity. Dave Noonan, secretary of the Construction and General division of Ark Tribe's union, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says: "If Ark is sent to jail we will begin immediate industrial action across this country".
Ark Tribe's "crime" is simply to have refused to give evidence to the ABCC, the special industrial police set up by the BCII Act. Under that law, construction workers have no "right to silence" when summoned to give evidence by the ABCC.
Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party promised to repeal the BCII Act and scrap the ABCC. But the promise was only to do that very slowly, and by replacing them with new, slightly softer, versions of the same thing. In fact, pleading inability to get legislation through the Senate, the Rudd government has done nothing on the issue.
Action on 15 June:
SA: Rally supporting Ark going to court. Starting at the 'Ark Tribe Embassy', Victoria Square, Adelaide at 8:15am.
NSW: March of Solidarity 12pm, corner of Goulburn St and Dixon Lane.
TAS: Parliament House 12pm.
Vic: Tent Embassy, ABCC Headquarters, 533 St. Kilda Rd, Melbourne.