In the most important speech by a union leader in a generation, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus will outline the rules that need to be changed for more secure jobs and better pay to the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.
Thirty years of trickle-down economics has failed to provide secure jobs or fair pay rises.
Ahead of the speech, the ACTU is releasing the secure jobs component of the package. The full package will be released at the conclusion of the address.
Quotes attributable to Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary:
“Too many people in Australia have no job security. They can no longer predict or plan their lives. Having a job you can count on is a foundation of the Australian way of life.
“The rules must be changed so jobs with basic security and rights can be restored.
Casual employment should be limited and properly defined:
“Workers in Australia can get trapped in casual employment. The average tenure is over three years.
“We have to change the rules so big business can no longer deny people basic rights by refusing them permanent positions. Our laws need to properly define casual employment. Working people should have the choice to convert to permanent if they are in long-term regular work.”
“Casual employees who have worked on a regular basis for six months, deserve the right to choose to convert to permanent work.
Equal rights for all workers, including those in the gig-economy:
“Classing workers as individual contractors has seen people paid below minimum wage, denied access to workers’ compensation, denied sick leave, superannuation, access to unfair dismissal, and denied the benefits of collective bargaining. Everyone deserves these rights.
“We need to change the rules so everyone has basic rights, including the right to collectively bargain.
Complete overhaul of labour hire:
“Labour hire companies simply rent out workers for lower pay and less job security. It’s got to stop.
“We need to completely overhaul labour hire companies by creating a national labour hire licensing system to ensure they are not cutting wages and conditions.
“Workers need protection from unfair dismissal by the host employer, and the ability to bargain with the company so they can win fair pay rises and gain secure work.
End the uncapped temporary working visa system:
“The government is shipping in exploitation and taking job opportunities for locals through its temporary visa system, and it needs to end.
“The system should favour permanent migration and local employment. Temporary visas should only be used for genuine shortages, with strong protections against abuse.
Skills for the future:
“Privatising vocational education and training has been a disaster.
“We must rebuild the funding for schools, TAFE and universities.
More secure jobs from free trade:
“The government is negotiating trade agreements that sell out Australian jobs.
“We must only enter into agreements which defend and improve wages and job security. They should not be able to bypass our laws regarding the movement of people, just for the benefit of corporations.
Secure jobs from government’s buying power:
“The government is currently using its spending power on what’s cheap, not quality. Rewrite the Commonwealth Procurement Rules to ensure that the government hires directly and locally, and prefers local businesses which pay fairly and provide secure jobs.
Time to care:
“The majority of working people have a responsibility to care for children, sick relatives, or an elderly parent.
“We need to change the rules so people have the right to a part time or reduced hours. And the right to return, when their caring responsibilities have reduced or ended.