The TV and radio advertisements, to run in all capital cities and regional areas, are designed to raise awareness of the human costs of the work changes.
The advertisements show how taking away rights to unfair dismissal can wreak
havoc on Australian families and how individual contracts will undermine job
security and take home pay.
The stories in just two of the ads the ACTU is rolling out show:
Tracy is spending her one day off a week with her two children. That’s
until her boss tells her she has to come in to work. If not, she can find
herself another job, he says.
After 15 years of loyal service, George is called in by a management
consultant who tells him he is about to be turned into a casual. “We’ve all got
to be a little more flexible,” he is told.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow says research shows that few Australians were
aware of the changes being proposed – but that once they understood the changes
they overwhelmingly opposed them.
“Now that he has control of the Senate John Howard is trying to take away
workers’ rights by pushing through complex legal changes with little public
debate,” Burrow says.
“The challenge for unions is to make the public aware about what is at stake
and hold the government accountable for this attack on working families.”
The advertising campaign will be backed by action in workplaces and
communities around the nation, as unions mobilise opposition to the changes.
“Making work less secure impacts on families and the community. These laws
are not just an attack on unions they are and attack on the living standards of
every Australian worker.
” They would be a backward step for working families at a time when many of
them are already struggling just to keep their heads above water”, Ms Burrow
The workplace changes announced by the Federal Government include plans to:
companies with less than 100 staff
pay and reduce employment conditions to only 5 minimum standards – workers who
refuse to sign may fear being sacked
conditions – a minimum hourly rate of pay (currently $12.75), 8 days sick leave,
4 weeks annual leave, unpaid parental leave and weekly working hours. Many
workers will lose conditions like weekend, shift and public holiday rates;
overtime; redundancy pay; allowances; and casual loadings.
The LHMU believes the changes threaten the basic rights, pay and entitlements
of Australian workers and their families.
A national week of union and community action is planned for June 27 – July
Ask your workplace delegate, union organiser or branch head office how you
can participate in the week of action.