Hi everyone,

I notice the WA equivalent of the United Trades and Labour Council, 
Union WA, last week passed a unanimous resolution calling for industrial 
action in the event of Australian involvement in any war on Iraq, with 
or without UN approval, including walk-offs from job sites.

I am putting a similar resolution through the South Australian TAFE 
Divisional Council of the Australian Education Union, with an aim to 
coordinate it with the International Student Walk-out that is planned on 
March 5th.  To have teachers go out in solidarity with students would be 
a powerful statement to our government.

The rest of the trade union movement should fololw Western Australia's 
example, and join us. I urge all of you who are members of trade unions, 
or who are representatives, or who know  union reps, to lobby hard 
within your union over the next few weeks for such action, to coincide 
on March 5th across the country in a huge united response across 
Australia. Clearly, judging by  WA's unanimous initiative, trade union 
members are overwhelmingly supportive, and we know absolutely that the 
community is with us here.

Any industrial action, such as proposed by WA, should occur in a united 
way across the nation to be fully effective; March 5th would appear to 
be the logical date.

Industrial action would have an impact on the government in a 
qualitatively different way from the civil mobilizations that will occur 
on Feb 15th across the country - both modes of action are extremely 
important, but to my knowledge there has been little talk of how the 
union movement can play its part in this campaign. The union movement is 
the organised expression of the community of Australian workers, it 
cannot take a passive role on this issue, and has enormous power and 
capacity to influence our political leaders. It can strike at the 
government's economic roots in a way that the civil peace movement 
cannot, and its voice is thus not to be ignored.

Our unions are generally much more accessible to us than politicians, so 
it's also a very effective avenue to lobby in. Please contact your union 
rep, organiser or delegate immediately - present them with a ready-made 
resolution to take to their higher decision-making bodies, and follow 
them up with pressure to take it to their state coordinating body.

Antiwar groups need to send this message out to their supporters and ask 
them to campaign in this arena.

A national strike against the war on March 5th would make international 
headlines, stimulate community debate like never before, and show the 
international community that the Australian people are totally against 
what their government is planning. The momentum of sentiment against 
this war is so huge the majority of Australian community would be 
absolutely behind us on this one; we should feel confident they would 
actively support any actions that take place.


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