ACTU President Ged Kearney has been announced as a winner in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2014.
Ms Kearney has been recognised in the public policy category for her contribution to workplace relations and her relentless campaigning for social justice and workers’ rights.
“It’s an honour to be a leader of the Australian union movement,” said Ms Kearney.
“Australian Unions are the largest social movement in the country campaigning to improve social infrastructure and to protect the living standards of all Australians,” said Ms Kearney.
“Being recognised as an Australian ‘Woman of Influence’ is recognition of and a tribute to the important work of the union movement. We could not do the work we do without the army of wonderful activists, union members and tireless union leaders.
“Currently, that work is centred on fighting against attempts by the Government and business groups to strip away worker’s rights and conditions.
“The awards also give us a chance to get people talking about the issues Australian women face at work and the action required to stop discrimination and close the gender pay gap,” Ms Kearney said.
“While it’s great to see women being recognised for their hard work and success, the reality is we still have an 18.2 per cent gender pay gap in Australia, the widest level in 20 years.
“With 40% of households now relying on women as the main breadwinners, a widening pay gap and a concerted effort by the Government and business groups to strip away penalty rates and other workers’ rights and conditions, can only mean that families and communities suffer as well.
“As a 2014 Australian Woman of Influence, I am urging the Abbott Government to stop its attack on the living standards of all Australians with its cruel budget measures and new laws such as the Fair Work Amendment Bill that will strip away the rights and conditions of Australian workers.”