Thousands of workers will today call on political parties to spell out their commitment to save jobs and guarantee 100% of employee entitlements.

Jobs forums will be held in all capital cities today and will be followed by meetings in marginal seats around the country. The meetings follow in the wake of tens of thousands of job losses and corporate collapses in recent months.

“Thousands of workers have lost not only their jobs but also millions of dollars in unpaid entitlements such as redundancy, sick pay and long service leave,” ACTU President Sharan Burrow said before addressing today’s meeting in Sydney.

“Working Australians need a national plan for jobs growth and respect for their basic right to be consulted and bargain about their futures. John Howard’s policies have promoted conflict and insecurity at work through contracting-out, casualisation, and the use of unfair individual contracts,” Ms Burrow said.

Ms Burrow welcomed Labor leader Kim Beazley’s announcement yesterday of 680 extra teaching jobs, 35,000 new skilled apprenticeship places, and extra nurses for public hospitals. New jobs would be created through Labor’s new 200% R&D tax concession and extra funding for regional development and infrastructure projects.

“Kim Beazley has plans for creating jobs and restoring some balance to the workplace by abolishing unfair individual contracts and allowing the Industrial Relations Commission to settle disputes and protect vulnerable employees,” Ms Burrow said. “It’s time John Howard developed a plan for Australian industry and Australian jobs.”


SYDNEY: Masonic Centre, cnr Castlereagh & Goulburn Sts, City TIME: 12-1pm

MELBOURNE: City Square, Swanston St, City TIME: 12-1pm

PERTH: Cultural Centre, Northbridge TIME: 12-2pm

ADELAIDE: Trades Hall, City TIME: 12.30-1.30pm