Workers have chipped in to take the fight to Tony Abbott on workers’ rights and penalty rates – by funding giant mobile billboards which will follow the Liberal leader during the election campaign.
The billboards will be unveiled outside this evening’s leaders’ debate in Brisbane.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said the billboards had been paid for by small donations from hundreds of individual workers who are concerned about the Coalition’s agenda on IR, and is part of the ACTU’s grassroots campaign to protect workers’ rights.
“We do not get the big donations that business gives to the Coalition, but we have two million members who are willing to mobilise and fight for workers’ rights,” Ms Kearney said.
“Tony Abbott doesn’t want to talk about his plans for a Productivity Commission inquiry into industrial relations, or tell workers which of their conditions will be on the table after the election.
“These billboards are part of our campaign to keep the Coalition honest and make sure workers are aware of the threat posed by a Coalition Government.
“We know that big business is putting pressure on the Coalition to get rid of penalty rates and push more workers on to individual agreements.
“Just yesterday it was revealed that Eric Abetz, Tony Abbott’s shadow minister for Industrial Relations, had secretly met with retail groups who are trying to reduce penalty rates.
“Tony Abbott will not be able to hide from the Liberals past on IR, and get away with his refusal to give details of the Productivity Commission inquiry.
“Workers’ rights and conditions like penalty rates are too important to be put at risk.”