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[CPVW protectVietworkers.com 03/12/2010] The Australian Council of Trade Unions has just resolved to take 5 actions to support labor advocates oppressed by the Vietnamese regime, the latest being Đoàn Huy Chương, Nguyễn Hoàng Quốc Hùng, and Đỗ Thị Minh Hạnh.

ACTU will: Send its representative to visit families of Chương-Hùng-Hạnh; Seek to visit them in jail; Invite the Australian Ambassador to take part; Call on other union councils to look into their plight; And call on Australian unionists to join an online campaign by LabourStart.

The above Resolution was passed at the ACTU Executive’s 01/12 meeting in Melbourne. The Resolution was submitted by Mr. Paul Howes (National Secretary of AWU, Australian Workers Union), co-sponsored by Mr. Tony Sheldon (National Secretary of TWU, Transport Workers Union), and supported by Ms. Ged Kearney (ACTU President).

Over the last few months, Messrs. Tony Sheldon, Paul Howes, and Barry Tubner (President of TCFUA – Textile, Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia) have introduced CPVW representatives to meet many unions in and outside of Australia to inform them about Chương-Hùng-Hạnh who were arrested in February 2010.

Mr. Đoàn Việt Trung, CPVW Secretary, thanks ACTU, TWU, AWU, TCFUA and all unions which supported this Resolution, an important development.

Addressing those in Vietnam fighting for workers’ rights, Mr. Trung said: “The overseas union movement will increasingly support you. The regime wouldn’t dare ignore them, because this movement is strong”.

In Australia, unions are getting stronger because everyone sees that by joining, their collective strength improves and they enjoy practical benefits. TWU has just succeed in getting Australian Air Express to give its members above-inflation wage rises. With AWU, unionised factories pay on average $145 a week higher than non-unionised ones. And TCFUA members who work at home or in factories are protected by TCFUA if involved in an accident or if employers are slow in paying them.

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