Victorian Trades Hall today launched its campaign against the Howard Government’s proposed changes to the industrial relations system during a meeting at Dallas Brooks Hall where delegates committed to fight for a fair and universal system that protects workers.
In 2005, while interest rates rise and businesses make record profits, the
government wants to cut the wages of Australian workers. From 1 July, upon
taking control of the Senate, the Federal Government plans to rip up the
workplace rulebook and remove the fair standards applying to all workers.
Federal Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, refuses to guarantee that
no worker will be worse off under the proposed changes. This means workers WILL
be worse off. Australians will work harder, longer and for less pay.
Victorian union members vowed to stand up to this and passed a resolution
minimum wage adjustment set by an independent AIRC (Australian Industrial
workplace or industry level) and not be forced into inferior individual
assistance and advocacy
Unions plan a strong campaign aimed at forcing the government to rethink its
position on industrial matters. Victorian unions endorsed a stop work and rally
on 30 June, the day before the government gains control of the Senate where they
are expected to use their majority to force through a raft of changes aimed at
curtailing a wide range of hard-won workers’ rights.
The resolution says the real problem lies with the Federal Government’s lack
of investment in skills and infrastructure, not industrial relations.
Union delegates called on the ALP nationally to commit to fighting against
these changes and to reverse any changes when in office and urged the Bracks
Government to explore all possible means, including legislation, to protect
Victorian workers and their families.
Delegates were urged to form a united front in Victoria and nationally
conduct a long-term campaign against these changes and the Howard Government.
They endorsed the ACTU resolution of March 16, urging all unions to stop work
and attend the FAIR FOR ALL RALLY on Thursday 30 June and commit to promoting it
in workplaces, industries and communities. They urged other states to do the
same and endorse the need for further action in late August/September. All
delegates were encouraged to hold a workplace meeting to discuss these issues
and to call on their employer to reject the Howard agenda.
What you can do:
Get active in your work place and your community!
Here are some practical ways of ensuring that you and your workmates are not
forced to work harder for less.
1. Pass a workplace motion opposing the Government’s proposals and calling on
your employer to guarantee that your current wages and conditions will be
maintained and that they will respect your right to collectively bargain.
2. Make an appointment with your local federal member of Parliament and
present the motion to him/her. Let them know how the changes will disadvantage
you and your family.
3. Talk to your workmates who are not in a union about why there has never
been a better time to join and why if the government gets their laws through, we
will have to stick together to keep our livelihoods. Work towards majority union
membership in your area by talking to people and educating them about how these
changes will affect them.
5. Take your message to the community. Ring talkback radio and tell them how
your life and the life of your family will change for the worse if you have to
work harder and longer for less pay. 3AW (03) 9696 1278, 3LO 1300 222 774,
Regional Drive 1880 033 800. Speak at your local sports club, parents group,
community group etc. about the changes. Your union and Trades Hall will have
material available to help you explain these changes to others.
Stop Work and Rally
10am Trades Hall