Australia: Premier Joh, Union Basher

Premier Joh, Union Basher

The five clergymen stood behind a wooden cross outside a power station in a Brisbane suburb two weeks ago singing We Shall Overcome. Within minutes, they were themselves overcome, spirited away by the police. Since March, similar scenes have been re-enacted almost daily in Queensland, Australia's northeastern state, where 231 people have been arrested in protests against harsh new labor legislation sponsored by the state's right-wing Premier Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, 74, who is called "Jackboots Joh" by detractors. Among other things, the laws require unions to give up to seven days' notice of their intention to strike.

The laws were rushed...

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