The following Resolution was adopted by the PSI Executive Committee on 15 April in support of the Maritime Union of Australia.
INTERNATIONAL UNION CALLS ON CUSTOMS OFFICERS WORLD-WIDE TO SUPPORT MUA
The Executive Board of Public Services International, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 - 17 April 1998
NOTES WITH ALARM the provocative and oppressive actions being taken jointly by the Australian government and Patrick Stevedores, the firm which employs members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA);
CONDEMNS the conspiracy between that government, that employer and the Australian National Farmers Federation, aimed at the destruction of the MUA and which has led to the illegal sacking of 1400 workers for the crime of belonging to a free trade union;
CONDEMNS the illegal use of state resources, including the military, by the Australian government in assisting an employer to conspire against its employees;
RECOGNISES that this attack on unionists is an attack on the whole of the trade union movement and reflects the totally anti-worker policy of the Australian Government, which is attempting to deny workers basic rights to organise;
RECOMMENDS to all PSI affiliates which organise members who work in or have contacts in ports or harbours anywhere in the world to work in close solidarity and co-operation with the MUA or other affiliates of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) in combating the actions of the Australian government and Patrick Stevedores;
URGES Customs Officers around the world to take whatever action they can to counter the actions of the Australian government and Patrick Stevedores;
CALLS on the Australian government to cease immediately its provocative and biased participation in this affair and to turn its efforts instead to using its resources and authority to promote a negotiated settlement of this dispute in the interests of the whole community;
URGES all shipping employers to resist the request by Patrick Stevedores to expand this dispute in transferring their business to Patrick and applauds those which have resisted this temptation;
OFFERS the ITF and the MUA full assistance and co-operation in reinstating the sacked workers and getting the two parties back to the negotiating table where this dispute should be settled; specifically offering any practical assistance which PSI can provide in the event that the ITF is prevented by the courts in the United Kingdom from actively supporting its affiliate and its members.