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GetUp!

Pokies legal fund

It's on. We were just 'served' by Woolworths and tomorrow we will be heading to the Federal Court.

Why? Because GetUp members who are Woolworths shareholders have called a General Meeting to vote on making the company's poker machines safer for addicted problem gamblers.

Woolworths say it's too expensive to hold the meeting GetUp members are calling for - but the meeting will cost less than Woolworths take from addicted problem gamblers in a single day.

They're using the classic corporate tactic: when faced with community action, pull in expensive lawyers and tie the process up in legal action. From Gunns to James Hardie, we've seen it before. Often it doesn't matter whether their case is strong. The point is to out-spend community activists – to intimidate them into giving up.

This was all started by shareholders like Karen, a GetUp member from Melbourne, who has owned Woolies shares for years. Karen lost her partner to suicide spurred by problem gambling. Now she's calling on Woolworths to simply hold a meeting to discuss making their machines safer. Today an unnamed Woolworths media spokesperson called her action a "stunt". We call it "standing up for what's right."

We've pulled together a top legal team to take on Woolworths tomorrow, but it won't be cheap; we urgently need a legal fund. Can you chip in?