Capitalism is the problem — not just Howard

  • Today is only the first step. The purpose of today’s rally is to assemble our forces for the coming struggle. This needs to be the launch of an ongoing campaign, growing till every workplace in Australia is part of it. Talk to friends, neighbours, family, workmates. Get organised and then act. We mustn’t stop until we win.

  • Howard will go as far as we let him. The laws the Government have announced are just the first instalment. Howard has already said he’ll be back for more next year. They want to make effective unionism illegal and give employers total power in the workplace. The only answer is to hit the bosses where it hurts — the pocket. We have to use direct action to make the laws unworkable. The courts can jail or bankrupt a few dozen, but they can’t do it to hundreds of thousands. If we make Howard’s laws a dead letter, the bosses will turn on him savagely and he’ll be history. If we let him roll over us, though, we can expect even worse.

  • The rank & file have to take charge. We’ve already seen how the ACTU had to be dragged kicking and screaming into this campaign — originally they just wanted to run TV ads. The rank & file have to control the conduct of this dispute, by demanding regular delegate and shop steward meetings to decide the direction of the campaign. Don’t look to the officials or (for heaven’s sake!) the ALP for leadership — it’s not their wages & working conditions at stake. The only good union official is one who seeks direction from the members.

  • Capitalism is the problem — not just Howard. If Howard didn’t exist, the bosses would have had to invent him. Capitalism means competition and hierarchy — poverty and oppression for many, wealth and power for the few. Unions are built on opposite principles — solidarity and direct democracy. To make solidarity and direct democracy prevail in society, we need to take charge ourselves and get rid of capitalism.