CAW Joins CLC Protest Against Australian PM

May 18, 2006


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CAW Joins CLC Protest Against Australian PM
CAW Joins CLC Protest Against Australian PM
dated May 18, 2006


Ottawa, Ontario
May 18, 2006

       The CAW was front and center in protesting against Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, speaking to Parliament in Ottawa May 18th. Hemi Mitic, assistant to CAW national President Buzz Hargrove said this is an insult to all working people in Canada.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW national president

       "It is completely unacceptable that he has come here to our democratic parliament to speak about what he has done over there, or promote what he has done or what he represents over there. He does not represent the working class ."

       Barbara Beyers, Executive Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress which organized the protest had a clear message for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Barbara Beyers
CLC Exec. Vice Pres.

       "I can tell you brothers and sisters, if there is one thing that I want to deliver in this message today is , if you're a friend of John Howard's then quite frankly you are no friend of mine and you are no friend of Canadian working families."
       "In Australia the Howard government has been attacking workers; making it impossible for workers and their unions to stand up for jobs and benefits, for salaries, for some dignity in their communities. We don't need that kind of friendship."


       Peggy Nash, newly elected NDP MP and a former assistant to CAW national president, said Harper doesn't understand what Canadian working families need.

Peggy Nash
NDP MP Parkdale High Park

       "We are sending a message to Stephen Harper. We don't need our government in Canada to take advice on labour relations from the Australian Prime Minister. What we need are better laws in Canada. We need an anti-scab law. We need to improve employment insurance. We need to make it easier for working people to defend themselves by joining unions not harder."

       This protest is just the start according to Mitic. Following the event he said labour and in particular the CAW will fight the Harper government's right wing agenda and it's made in Australia anti labour strategy.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW national president

       "We had about 350 - 400 people here today. Well over half of them were CAW members. When we put out the call there was a response. The flags were wonderful and it sends a clear message to the government; that regardless of what they think they can accomplish in the various constituencies our union is going to be there fighting all the way."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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