State of the Union December 2006
We are now in the thick of the Your Rights at Work Campaign and less than 12 months out from a federal election.
Unions in Australia are more determined than ever to campaign to see the repeal of these laws – laws that have removed basic rights from our workplaces. Laws that if left un-challenged will fundamentally change the Australian ‘fair go’ for ever.
November 30 was the fourth mass mobilisation of working people across the country to protest the federal government’s industrial relations nightmare that is ‘Workchoices’.
I was enormously proud to be part of the ASU delegation at the recent MCG national day of protest. ASU members were out in force together with tens of thousands of Victorian workers and their families.
As well as mass mobilisations the union campaign will continue to raise awareness in our communities through TV advertising. We will also continue to tell the stories of working people who are experiencing hardship under the new laws. It is very important that we are not deterred from telling these peoples’ stories.
Unions nationally have resourced Your Rights at Work Community Campaign Coordinators in 22 marginal seats across the country. These Community Campaigners will work at the grass roots level in communities to campaign against the federal government’s IR laws in the lead up to the next federal election.
Our union will also be contacting every ASU member who lives in a marginal seat to discuss the IR laws.
In late October the ACTU Congress met in Melbourne and debated and endorsed a new Industrial Relation Policy for the future. This edition of Unite details the ACTU policy and I urge you to make yourself familiar with it. Unlike the low wage, low skill bleak vision our federal government has for our workplaces, the union plan is about investing in our nation, skilling our workforce, and restoring rights to
The union plan will restore the right to be represented by a union and the right to collectively bargain if the majority of the workforce support this.
The union plan restores a proper safety net for wages and conditions and will restore the powers of an independent umpire to settle disputes.
Congratulations to each and every ASU member who has stood up to be counted as part of the Your Rights at Work Campaign. We look forward to the campaign ahead.
Spirit of giving
In this issue of Unite we feature a number of articles focussing on social justice around the globe. Christmas is a good time to reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves and to think about ways in which we can contribute to a more just world.