Unions launch campaign to change the rules
New ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus, led 1200 union leaders, organisers and rank and file members in launching the movement-wide campaign to change the rules that held back working people and to bring back fairness to Australia.
Delegates were shown a short video illustrating how the Fair Work Act was failing workers across industries and across Australia.
“Parmalat. Griffin Coal. CUB. These cases show the rules are broken. But rules are made by us- by people. And we can change them,” declared McManus to the crowd.
The campaign will involve collecting workers’ stories of broken laws and sliding living standards, talking to other Australians about what is going on, and holding whatever government is elected federally, completely accountable to independent union demands to fix it.
ETU Secretary, Troy Gray, says it’s time the trade union movement and its almost 2 million members didn’t accept inadequate change from Labor.
“What we need to do is work out our own log of claims – on behalf of all the workers. Supporting fairness at work, Medicare, Australian jobs – that’s the price of our movement’s support for them. And if the politicians can’t sign up to that, then we’re not supporting them.”
The other major highlight of the conference was Federal Labor Leader, Bill Shorten, announcing his party will repeal the Liberals’ penalty rates cuts as soon as they get into power.
But many of the conference delegates agreed the ALP would have to go much further to bring back fairness.