Workers Organising - A Strong Base for Winning an Independent, Socialist Australia
In the struggle between capital and labour in Australia since 1788, the working class has overcome all sorts of obstacles put in its path by the ruling colonial and imperialist powers and their various layers of governments. Laws at state and federal levels have always been introduced by the ruling class to either weaken and divide workers' collective strength or confine resolution of workers' collective issues to the courts. When all else failed for the ruling class, they had no hesitation in using brute force to break workers’ solidarity and equally importantly, their organisations. De-registration of the Builders Labourers Federation is one example.
In the Howard Government years, and to this day, the ruling class continues to try and find ways to weaken and/or contain workers' collective strength and collective organisation.
However workers continue to find ways to struggle appropriate to their circumstances at a local level while also seeing the need to unite with all workers across Australia to struggle for issues with a common cause, including the cause for an Australia which is free from the stranglehold of transnational corporations which dominate every industry in every state and territory of the country.
It is this appreciation by workers that there is an identity of interests between their local issues and issues facing all workers in Australia that generates such widespread support for the ACTU's Change The Rules Campaign.
It is this appreciation by workers that they need to not only organise locally over local issues but also organise on a national and international scale that has led to thousands of workers over many decades supporting amalgamations of their unions and their unions’ participation in national campaigns on a wide variety of issues.
The ruling class do not like it when workers express class consciousness. This is why the ruling class tried to block the amalgamation of the CFMEU, Textile Workers Union and the MUA.
More amalgamations are in the wind, including unions that predominantly cover workers without recognised trades and with high turnover of labour. The new organisations formed as a result of such amalgamations have the potential for involving in an organised way hundreds of thousands of workers of different backgrounds in diverse industries.
Provided these new organisations are structured in an inclusive way that balances local, regional and national identity of workers, they will make a valuable contribution to a strong working class base to win an independent and socialist Australia.