Unions welcome moves by Labor to tackle the complex issues around workplaces and the new digital economy.

New sharing services like Uber and AirBNB are changing the way we work and Australia needs to ensure rights, conditions and wages are not sacrificed in the process.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s six principles are a welcome beginning to the debate around how Australia should tackle the changing nature of work, particularly through technology.

Next month the ACTU is convening a symposium of leading strategic thinkers in this area for union leaders from across the country to build our response to the future of work, how we as a movement embrace the positives of a digital economy and what the dangers are for working people of all ages.

Workers, families and communities are concerned about the current trend where risk is shifting from businesses onto workers.

This damages the social fabric of Australian society, increases financial insecurity and uncertainty over working hours and has a debilitating effect on workers’ capacity to balance work and home life.

Quotes Attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly:

“The reality that the bulk of the jobs people have today will not be around or look like the currently do in the next 30-50 years is becoming increasingly accepted.” 

“Progress and change is a great thing for society but there needs to be protections to ensure that worker’s rights, wages, safety and other conditions aren’t decimated in the process.”

“These are difficult but important issues for workers and the nation and we can’t be dazzled by new technologies and not protect the standards we value.”

“Unions will meet next month to discuss how we can assist and protect workers within this changing landscape.”