|Issue No 118||02 November 2001|
Workplace Blitz in Poll Lead-Up
The Australian union movement will dedicate the final week of the election campaign to grassroots campaign to highlight the importance of job security and expose the differences between the major parties on the issue.
A series of job forums were held around the nation where rank and file workers, senior union officials discussed the impact of the wave of company collapses and job cuts under the Howard Government.
In Sydney, delegates representing thousands of workers gather at the Sydney Masonic Centre while about two thousand workers rallied in Melbourne.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow unveiled 'Howard's List of Shame' a roll call of scores of businesses that have shed more than 100 staff. She called on all unionists to spread the word in their workplaces on the damage that has been done.
"Working Australians need a national plan for jobs growth and respect for their basic right to be consulted and bargain about their futures. John Howard's policies have promoted conflict and insecurity at work through contracting-out, casualisation, and the use of unfair individual contracts," Burrow said.
The meetings were also briefed on Labor's IR priorities by Opposition Leader Kim Beazley - via a specially produced video. He promised to "begin the repair work from Day One", including:
- restoring powers to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission
- abolishing Australian Workplace Agreements
- and securing 100 per cent of workers entitlements - including full redundancy and superannuation protection.
Individual unions are planning a frenetic final week of campaigning, with activities targeting across the nation including:
- Mass meetings will be held on all major construction sites in NSW with workers to be briefed on the IR strategies of the major parties.
- Education unions are sponsoring the Public Education bus to travel through marginal seats highlighting the differences in education priorities between the parties. Members will also be pamphleting school communities about the public education issue.
- Telstra's unions will complete their nationwide tour in the Telstra bus finishing in Sydney on Wednesday outside the Telstra corporate offices.
- Maritime unions will highlight their concerns with the Howard government's shipping policy, with newspaper advertisements and the appearance of 'Slick, the oily surfer' at Bondi Beach.
- And Ansett workers will continue their campaign against the Howard Government, handing out information on election day at targeted booths.
Formal Resolution Adopted
The activity is in line with the formal resolution adopted at the mass meetings:
"The people gathered here today call on all Federal election candidates to make clear to their electorates their commitment to the vital issue of jobs and job security.
Australia can no longer afford a Government that does not work to ensure the long-term security and wellbeing of all Australians.
We reject the policies of the Howard Government. Five years ago, John Howard promised that no worker would be worse off under his Government. But every day, we count the cost in disappearing jobs and squandered employee entitlements.
We believe the following steps are required to restore job growth:
1. A comprehensive jobs plan and industry policy to promote Australian manufacturing and employment development.
2. Greater job security through the promotion of full-time work to replace the rising number of insecure casual, part-time, and contract jobs.
3. A national scheme that guarantees 100% of employee entitlements.
4. The abolition of the Government's unfair Australian Workplace Agreements in favour of collective bargaining arrangements that restore fairness in the workplace.
5. A return to balance in the industrial relations system through restoration of powers to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
Interview: Flying High
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet on saving Ansett jobs, defeating Howard and wooing a new generation of unionists.
Corporate: Howard's List of Shame
ACTU President Shaharn Burrow runs through the litany of corporate collapses and down-sizes that have cut a swathe through the Australian community.
Campaign Diary: Week Four: The Battle Lines Drawn
It was a week that saw the leaders launch their campaigns, kiss lots of babies and battle for space with a Holy Jihad.
Industrial: Desperately Seeking Solutions
They might not call it 'industrial relations' in the spin of modern politics, but all the major parties have released plans that will affect the way we work over the next three years.
Economics: Manufacturing Prosperity
Neale Towart looks at the hidden debate of the election campaign - the degree of intervention government should take through Industry Policy.
History: War And Politics
The Conservatives are trying to wage war and win the election. The pundits say itís a tried and true recipe for electoral success. The 1940 federal poll suggests otherwise.
International: Globalising Labour
On the eve of the International Metalworkers Federation Congress general secretary Marcello Malentacchi argues all nations need to retain a manufacturing base.
Review: Security - Who Needs it?
What does it mean to be secure? Should we even need to ask? In his new book, Anthony Burke asks the tough questions.
Satire: Locksmith Promises "Greater Security" If Elected
A Melbourne locksmith has agreed to run for federal parliament, campaigning on the key issue of security.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005