Unions, working people, academics and people from the community sector will come together in Adelaide today to look at ways of tackling the rising rate of insecure work in Australia.
ACTU President Ged Kearney and Chair of the ACTU’s Insecure Work Inquiry Brian Howe will speak at the forum, which will include a panel of working people who have all been affected by this growing work issue.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said that the number of Australians in insecure work – casual, fixed or short-term contracts, labour hire and contracting – has almost doubled in the past two decades to just under 40% of the workforce.
“These workers live with the constant threat that their hours might be cut – or that their jobs will disappear altogether.
“They have no job security, many have no sick leave, carer’s leave or annual leave, and often find it difficult to get a home loan or plan for their future.
“The only bright spot for many of them is the penalty rates they can earn for working unsociable hours – but that’s under threat too.
“The Coalition has penalty rates firmly in its sights if it wins the Federal election, which would be nothing but a billion-dollar attack on workers’ wages.”
The forum will also include a panel of working South Australians who will talk about their experiences of insecure work. They include a Holden worker, a cleaner, a university lecturer, a construction worker and a hospitality worker.
SA Unions State Secretary Janet Giles says all have felt the sting of being forced into casual work.
“People in insecure work have irregular hours and fluctuating pay packets, and they are more likely to be injured at work. These things must change if we want to build a safe and prosperous economy.”
Insecure Jobs Forum
Venue: SACOSS, 47 King William Road, Unley
Official opening 9am by ACTU President Ged Kearney
Workers’ forum at 10am, including a Holden worker
Ged Kearney is available for comment.
Media Contact: Eleni Hale 0418 793 885 or Ben Ruse 0409 510 879