IWW letter of complaint

So for a long time a number of people who supported Ben Debney have claimed that they never made a complaint against the Melbourne branch secretary, but rather wrote a letter trying to “improve the process” and support the victims (Caroline and I) and other bullshit. Anyway finally I have gotten a copy of the complaint that was signed by them against the Melbourne branch secretary of the IWW. This proves that Jacob Grech, Moo Kau and others have deliberately lied about their role in all this. I’m actually shocked at how awful the letter is.

Note: Sarah Hathway took her name off the complaint after finding out what was really happening.

From: Jake Cortez <wobbly.cortez@gmail.com>

Dear Margaret,

We wish to make a formal complaint under Article III of the IWW Constitution against Tristan Bunner, branch secretary of the Melbourne General Membership Branch. We do so neither frivolously nor vexatiously, nor in anger, but as a result of measured consideration of FW Bunner’s behaviour over the last couple of months which we believe has caused a great deal of harm to the IWW and to members within it.

In particular we point to FW Bunner’s marked contribution to the toxic conditions within the IWW that acted as a breeding ground in which the flagrantly abusive, vindictive and politically-motivated behaviour of Ema Corro was able to fester. We are deeply saddened that he appears to have done so to the point where Ema Corro felt comfortable in denouncing the IWW as being filled with ‘horrible, horrible individuals’ who were ‘worse than Socialist Alliance,’ in wishing a member of the union dead, making public jibes about the term “fellow worker” ridiculing our use of the term, and otherwise damaging our reputation by constantly verbally attacking our members.

We do not of course hold FW Bunner responsible for the behaviour of Ema Corro but we do most definitely hold him accountable for permitting the conditions to fester in which her behaviour was allowed to escalate so dramatically and alarmingly. We believe that in not only neglecting to reign in Ema Corro’s abominable behaviour, which in addition to actively encouraging her to engage in more sickening and outrageous displays particularly online, FW Bunner has encouraged a culture of bullying and discrimination particularly within the Melbourne GMB, but also within the wider activist community. This culture has since been pointed to by at least one other branch member who has since resigned from the Melbourne branch on the basis of no longer feeling safe given the degree of hatefulness that prevails there, which FW Bunner has again done nothing to acknowledge or remedy.

We believe that this is all the result of FW Bunner aiding and expediting the process of denying Ben Debney natural justice in order to avoid having to admit to and address the serious shortcomings in his own conduct as branch secretary. We understand that previous to allowing complaints from Ema Corro, Caroline Hale and Dan Hanford to go ahead, he was aware of reprehensible behaviour on their part, including abusive behaviour from Ema Corro to which Ben Debney had previously alerted him on multiple occasions and a discriminatory and defamatory letter from Caroline Hale and Dan Hanford against Ben Debney that he himself refused to read in a branch meeting as requested. Being cognisant of all of these factors he did noting to prevent the negativity and destructive tendencies at play from festering, with the results we see today.

We also find that FW Bunner’s behaviour in response to FW Scholes’ action in removing Ema Corro from various IWW-related Facebook pages after receiving complaints about her behaviour was unacceptable by virtue of its heavy-handedness. We do not think this is behaviour becoming of any member of the IWW much less to say one with a position of responsibility within the organisation.

We request the following immediate terms of relief in order to bring the situation to resolution as speedily as possible:

1.) That FW Bunner step down as branch secretary of the Melbourne General Membership Branch effective immediately. We do not regard this as a negotiable term.
2.) That FW Bunner refrain from attending IWW events or functions (we may be willing to make an exception for organiser training with FW Erik Forman depending on FW Bunner’s conduct).
3.) That FW Bunner refrain from forwarding any personal correspondence involving the complainants to anyone outside of the complaint process.
4). That FW Bunner refrain from representing or speaking for the IWW in any official or unofficial capacity.

Yours for the OBU,

Jake Scholes, Perth IWW delegate and ROC Communications secretary.
Sarah Hathway, Geelong IWW
David Goodwin, Geelong IWW
Moo Kau, Geelong IWW delegate
Ushter Abbasi, Sydney IWW
Liz Turner, Geelong IWW
James Brennan, Geelong IWW
Jacob Gresch, Melbourne IWW


One of the discussions where Jacob Grech and Moo Kau repeatedly lied about the complaint and their role in things


Complaints committee findings:
“We find the complaints against FW Tristan Bunner to be unsubstantiated.  All evidence we have reviewed indicates that FW Bunner acted in a reasonable manner and attempted to strike a balance in the Melbourne branch.  He made several attempts to resolve conflicts and prevent escalation.  We received a letter outlining several complaints, however no corresponding evidence was provided.  Therefore, the accusations cannot be validated by this committee. ”



3 thoughts on “IWW letter of complaint

  1. jasmina@westnet.com.au says:

    Thanks for making this public. I hope it gets shared far and wide, and I hope there are serious consequences for the people involved.

  2. I think I just called shotgun.

  3. I am 78 and have been a union and socialist activist since 1954. I am also a life member of both the MUA and the MEAA and ran the Trades Hall Bar for 11 years!

    I have always supported all left wing groups, believing that they – like myself – were all working in different ways toward a different society that did not tolerate sexism or racism and empowered the working class, poor, and other disadvantaged people against the wealthy.

    In 1972 I wrote to the IWW in San Frisco, to get the best book available about Joe Hill – who had become a bit of a hero of mine. Even in my old age, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I start to cry when I hear Comrade Paul Robson, sing the “Ballad of Joe Hill.” I also wish I could be standing there beside him and had a gun to shoot some of the Utah, Copper bosses!

    However this note is not about me. What I am concerned about is the decline in the quality of membership of the IWW. One member of your current members, forced another worker out of a job, and then while still retaining his own job, without any advertising, took over the job and the house of the worker he had given a hard time. I think some one should ask Jacob Gresch. how he came to have two very affluent incomes and became the Trades Hall Caretaker?

    Paddy Garritty

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