The ACTU welcomes the resolution of the Labor leadership and wishes to congratulate Kevin Rudd on becoming leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party.
The ACTU also wishes to acknowledge and pay tribute to Julia Gillard, who as Prime Minister delivered much for working people.
Australians will remember her Prime Ministership for the key reforms it delivered, including a comprehensive paid parental leave scheme, equal pay for women working in our social and community sector, a national disability insurance scheme, a better retirement for working Australians through increased superannuation, safer roads for our truck drivers and the community, the protection of penalty rates, and historic action on climate change which protected jobs and invested in industries for the future.
Australia has had a very good government for the past 6 years, delivering excellent policies for working people.
On behalf of nearly 2 million union members, the ACTU now calls on the whole labour movement to unify behind a campaign to ensure that Tony Abbott is not elected on his stated policies of bringing back individual contracts, changing the Fair Work Act in the interests of business, abolishing the increase to superannuation, and his lack of support for Australian jobs.
Kevin Rudd was right when he said earlier tonight that many Australians are fearful that the Abbott Opposition would attack their penalty rates and conditions at work.
We look forward to working together with the Labor Government to fight to protect Australian working families from a potential Liberal Government.