Workers in Canberra hit the streets calling for a fair go

Hundreds of working people will fill the streets of Canberra calling on the Federal Government to change the rules so working people have pay rises that keep up with the cost of living.

Wage growth is at near record lows, with four out of five working people not getting pay rises that keep up with the cost of living.

The current Australian minimum wage is not a living wage, and is no longer keeping people out of poverty. Today, more than 28,000 people are homeless but working full-time.

Forty percent of working people are in insecure work – either in casual work, dependent on contracting, in labour hire, getting too few hours, or in the gig economy. Canberra has seen growing rates of contracting out of secure public service jobs to private contractors under the Federal Liberal Government.

We need to change the rules so working people get a fair go, fair pay rises, and jobs they can count on.

Working people need the tools and power to win fair pay rises. This includes making our bargaining system fair, increasing the minimum wage to a living wage, ensuring award minimums improve over time, that penalty rates are restored, wage theft ended, and women receive secure and equal pay.

Organisers of the political protest in Canberra expect a vocal and peaceful crowd to gather and march to the Fair Work Commission on Moore Street.

When: 20 November, 2018,12:30 press conference before 12:40 march.

What: Press conference before protest march and speeches – Australia needs a pay rise

Where: Gathering at Pilgrim House Square, corner of Rudd St and Northbourne Ave, before a march at 12:40pm to the Fair Work Commission, 14 Moore St.

Quotes attributable to UnionsACT Secretary Alex White

“Everyone deserves a fair pay that keeps up with the rising cost of living. But our economy is out of balance and for too many people in Canberra, things are getting worse.

 “Our unfair industrial laws mean that while corporate profits are through the roof, too many Australians are struggling to make ends meet. This is exactly why we need to change the rules.

“Australia needs a pay rise, and we are going to make Scott Morrison listen.”

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Working people in Australia are demanding that the rules are changed.

“This political protest is aimed at making Scott Morrison and Federal politicians listen.

“Our wages are going backwards, families are struggling, and too many people are stuck in insecure work.

“The federal Government itself is reducing permanent secure jobs and replacing them with insecure contract work.

‘We need to bring balance back to the system so working people get fair pay rises.

“It is not right that profits are up, and CEO bonuses are up, but our pay is not.”