Sunday, June 13, 2010

Australian union plans to starve uranium industry of labour

We need more unions like this...NYC

Steve Gray

A major union expects others to join its campaign to "starve" Australia's uranium industry of workers.

The Electrical Trades Union has banned its members from working on uranium mines, nuclear power stations or any other part of the nuclear fuel cycle.

The ETU says other unions have expressed strong support for the campaign against uranium, which it has labelled the "new asbestos" of the workplace.

Advertisement: Story continues below"We're sick of hearing about nuclear power as the panacea of global warming, we're sick of people sweeping safety issues under the carpet," ETU secretary Peter Simpson said on Tuesday.

"Our view is there's enough ETU labour in the place ... that we'll be able to starve the industry out."

He was speaking at the launch in Brisbane of an anti-uranium DVD, When the Dust Settles, alongside pediatrician and activist Dr Helen Caldicott.

The DVD, to be sent to ETU members in Queensland and the Northern Territory, is a warning about the health risks the union says come with working with uranium.

Mr Simpson said Australian workers had already faced decades of exposure, and uranium was the new asbestos of the workplace.

"Over the next 10 or 15 years we're going to see the downside of (uranium)," he said. "They've had 30 years to pretty much do what they like and we believe now's the time to put the line in the sand. "... we want to get all unions and all community groups on board and start taking the fight back up to the uranium industry."

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