The shape of our future working lives depends on Australian governments making the right choices to navigate looming technological and social changes, an ACTU submission to a senate committee from the peak body for working people says.

The submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers Inquiry argues that technological advances and demographic changes will only further erode the power, wages and security of working people if policymakers allow them to do so.

The last decade has seen significant re-shaping of the Australian work landscape with working people losing power as precarious, insecure and non-standard forms of work have become more common and legislative and regulatory protections for working people have failed to keep pace.

A clean break with the trickle-down economics of the past is required if government is to take the necessary steps to ensure that coming technological changes benefit everyone rather than just a few wealthy corporate bosses.

Quotes attributable to Sally McManus ACTU Secretary:

“Everyone needs basic rights to protect their living standards. Technological and social changes may re-fashion society but they do not change this basic fact.”

“Our rules and institutions have failed to keep pace with changes in the real world – changes to the way we work, the way we live and the way we interact with technology.

“Our lawmakers have a clear choice – if they choose to act in the interests of working people we can secure a better future where the benefits of change are shared among everyone.

“We can have a future of secure work, but we need to change the rules so people have basic rights.”