Green bans and builders labourers became household terms for millions of Australians during the 1970s. A remarkable form of environmental activism known as the green bans movement was initiated by the builders labourers (BLs), employed to construct the officeblock skyscrapers, shopping precincts and luxury apartments that were rapidly encroaching upon green spaces or replacing olderstyle commercial and residential buildings. This movement, in which workers on a large scale refused to work on ecologically unsound projects, was the first of its type in the world. The green bans movement was a grand coalition across the class divide that too frequently sees environmentalists and workers opposed, despite the fact there is no necessary antagonism but rather an overriding mutuality between environmental imperatives and labour interests. Because it used the ultimate deterrent of withdrawal of labour, this movement provides an example of a truly effective and powerful crossclass coalition that directly prevented environmental damage and focused public attention on issues of power and common interests.
|Pages (from-to)||14 - 23|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|