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A green ban is a form of strike action, usually taken by a trade union or other organised labour group, which is conducted for environmentalist or conservationist purposes. This is opposed to a black ban, which is strike action taken in order to promote the economic interests of the strikers.

Contents

Background

Green bans were first conducted in Australia in the 1970s by the New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation (BLF). Green bans were never instigated unilaterally by the BLF, all green bans were at the request of, and in support of, residents' groups. The first green ban was put in place to protect Kelly's Bush, the last remaining undeveloped bushland in the Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill. A group of local women who had already appealed to the local council, mayor, and the Premier of New South Wales, approached the BLF for help. The BLF asked the women to call a public meeting, which was attended by 600 residents, and formally asked the BLF to prevent construction on the site. The developer, A V Jennings, announced that they would use non-union labour as strike-breakers. In response, BLF members on other A V Jennings construction projects stopped work. A V Jennings eventually abandoned all plans to develop Kelly's Bush.

The BLF was involved in many more green bans. Not only did the BLF represent all unionised builders' labourers in the construction industry; but the BLF also influenced the opinion of other unionised construction workers, and acted as a political leadership of the construction unions in the era. Forty-two bans were imposed between 1971 and 1974. Green bans helped to protect historic nineteenth century buildings in The Rocks from being demolished to make way for office towers, and prevented the Royal Botanic Gardens from being turned into a carpark for the Sydney Opera House. The BLF stopped conducting green bans in 1974 after the federal leadership under Norm Gallagher dismissed the leaders of the New South Wales branch. Gallagher was later jailed for taking bribes from developers.

One of the last bans to be removed, to prevent development of Victoria Street in the suburb of Kings Cross, had earlier resulted in kidnapping, bashings and the forced mass evictions of squatters and residents by New South Wales Police. This ban was continued for some time by another union, the Municipal Water and Sewerage Employees Unions and resulted in the later disappearance (and alleged kidnapping and murder) of activist resident journalist Juanita Nielsen.

Although green bans have been implemented on a number of occasions since the 1970s, they have not been so prevalent, nor so comprehensive in their effect. One estimate of the effect of the BLF's green bans puts the amount of development prevented at AUD 3 billion between 1971 and 1974 (approximately AUD 18 billion in 2005 money). [1]

See also

References

  1. ^  "A perspective on Sydney's Green ban Campaign, 1970-74". Teaching Heritage. http://www.teachingheritage.nsw.edu.au/d_reshaping/wd2_burgman.html. Retrieved September 2, 2005.  

External links

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A green ban is a form of strike action, usually taken by a trade union or other organised labour group, which is conducted for environmentalist or conservationist purposes.

Contents

Background

Green bans were first conducted in Australia in the 1970s by the New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation (BLF). Green bans were never instigated unilaterally by the BLF, all green bans were at the request of, and in support of, residents' groups. The first green ban was put in place to protect Kelly's Bush, the last remaining undeveloped bushland in the Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill. A group of local women who had already appealed to the local council, mayor, and the Premier of New South Wales, approached the BLF for help. The BLF asked the women to call a public meeting, which was attended by 600 residents, and formally asked the BLF to prevent construction on the site. The developer, A V Jennings, announced that they would use non-union labour as strike-breakers. In response, BLF members on other A V Jennings construction projects stopped work. A V Jennings eventually abandoned all plans to develop Kelly's Bush.

The BLF was involved in many more green bans. Not only did the BLF represent all unionised builders' labourers in the construction industry; but the BLF also influenced the opinion of other unionised construction workers, and acted as a political leadership of the construction unions in the era. Forty-two bans were imposed between 1971 and 1974. Green bans helped to protect historic nineteenth century buildings in The Rocks from being demolished to make way for office towers, and prevented the Royal Botanic Gardens from being turned into a carpark for the Sydney Opera House. The BLF stopped conducting green bans in 1974 after the federal leadership under Norm Gallagher dismissed the leaders of the New South Wales branch. Gallagher was later jailed for taking bribes from developers.

One of the last bans to be removed, to prevent development of Victoria Street in the suburb of Kings Cross, had earlier resulted in kidnapping, bashings and the forced mass evictions of squatters and residents by New South Wales Police. This ban was continued for some time by another union, the Municipal Water and Sewerage Employees Unions and resulted in the later disappearance (and alleged kidnapping and murder) of activist resident journalist Juanita Nielsen.

Although green bans have been implemented on a number of occasions since the 1970s, they have not been so prevalent, nor so comprehensive in their effect. One estimate of the effect of the BLF's green bans puts the amount of development prevented at AUD 3 billion between 1971 and 1974 (approximately AUD 18 billion in 2005 money). [1]

See also

References

  1. ^ "A perspective on Sydney's Green ban Campaign, 1970-74". Teaching Heritage. Archived from the original on June 18, 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050618040444/http://www.teachingheritage.nsw.edu.au/d_reshaping/wd2_burgman.html. Retrieved September 2, 2005. 

External links


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