Interview: Minority Report
Industrial: Girl Power
Unions: Made in NZ
History: Spirit for a Fair Go
Economics: Fool's Gold
Politics: Worth Fighting For
Health: The Force Behind Medibank
Legal: Robust Justice
International: After the Revolution
Poetry: The Sound of Unions
Review: Bad Santa
The Locker Room
Not A Casey Fan
Worth Fighting For
It has often been asserted that politics is the art of the possible. The pursuit of social justice, economic security, freedom of speech and the rule of law requires the application of that art on a daily basis.
The trade union movement is the largest single organization in society working for the betterment of working people and their dependants. Despite the successes the movement has achieved over the years, the reality facing society today is the unequal distribution of the wealth of our nation.
The gap between the wealthy few and the majority of Australians is clearly widening. Our post-Cold War capitalist society has promoted divisiveness and encouraged greed and selfishness. We need to combat this greed and selfishness by seeking to achieve the best in our people.
The union movement must continue to challenge the status quo. We must continue to fire the imagination of young activists to further the philosophy and idealism of our movement - to bring together Australians of different political, religious and ethnic backgrounds to establish a truly egalitarian society of tolerance, respect, goodwill and democratic values.
There are, in our movement, some people who feel they can best serve their personal interests or political expediency by seeing how far they can go to the Right without actually becoming members of the Liberal Party. Fancy being in the Labor Movement without radical tendencies. You cannot afford to be in the middle of the road. You have to be quite clear about what you believe in, whether popular or unpopular, and you have to fight for it. I could no longer be called a young radical, but if I think a thing is worth fighting for, no matter what the penalty is, I will fight for the right, and the truth and justice will always prevail
- BEN CHIFLEY (1950)
Prime Minister of Australia, 1945-49
We should never forget nor be afraid to acknowledge the critical role of the union movement in maintaining and raising living standards generally in our country, and in securing benefits such as paid sick leave, paid annual leave, paid long service leave, superannuation rights, workers compensation rights and improved health and safety at work. Nor should we be surprised that we face difficulties in building on these standards. We are the ones who are seeking to change the status quo. But as Ben Chifley said, if a thing is worth fighting for, no matter what the penalty, we will fight for it, and the truth and justice will always prevail.
Worth Fighting For: The memoirs of Ray Gietzelt
( Copies of the book can be ordered from LHMU)
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