Statement form ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

The announcement by the ABS this morning that Australia is likely already in recession with GDP contracting by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 demonstrates the need for a comprehensive plan to create jobs and economic growth to lift Australia out of the COVID-19 crisis.

The ACTU has published an 8-point plan aimed at creating 2 million new secure jobs through the recovery phase of the pandemic response. This plan includes lifting wages and living standards, investing in public and community services that will protect us from future crises, infrastructure spending and investment in education and training.

The crisis has exposed the urgent need to reduce the rate of insecure work and create secure jobs with a full suite of workplace rights.

Without a comprehensive jobs plan in place we will face additional job losses and financial hardship for millions of Australian workers.

The uncertainty created by the Government’s refusal to both broaden who is receiving JobKeeper today and extend its life beyond September is causing additional hardship and reducing consumer confidence.

We call on the Morrison Government to adopt the ACTU’s 8-point plan and ensure that the recovery from this crisis generates more secure jobs and strengthens the rights of working people.