Australian union officials anticipate extreme violence in fight for migrants

17:13, May 17, 2010      

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Australian union officials on Monday warned of another bomb attack on their Sydney headquarters after alleging that unscrupulous employers are turning to extreme violence in a bid to cover up the abuse of migrant workers.

A stolen, fuel-laden Mazda sedan was crashed through the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's (CFMEU) building in Lidcombe and set alight late last Friday.

Union state secretary Andrew Ferguson said gas bottles were planted and exploded in the basement of the building in Sydney's inner west in a separate attack 12 months ago.

It comes after years of threats by various organisations and an explicit threat to "destroy the union" 48 hours before Friday's firebombing, Ferguson added.

He is linking the latest attack to a row with a building firm over a migrant worker wage claim.

Ferguson urged the state government to make the issue a top priority and called on New South Wales Police to set up a task force to investigate the attacks.

"What we are seeing is an escalation in violence. We're anticipating further violence," Ferguson told reporters.

"I think there are many organizations in our community be they trade unions, church or migrant advocacy groups that fight for the interests of people.

"We think we've been targeted because we've been fighting specifically for the interests of some migrant workers subject to abuse and exploitation."

Source: Xinhua
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