Published: 11/04/2022
Category: On The Job
Published: 11/04/2022
Category: On The Job

And so it begins.

After a chaotic and calamitous three years, Scott Morrison will face the verdict of a disillusioned and weary nation. The federal election on Saturday, May 21 will be judgment day.

For many of us, that day can’t come quickly enough.

This Government has been indifferent to the needs of working people, mired in grubby self-dealing and pork barreling, nobbled by incompetence and arrogance, and led by a bloke who only cares about one job: his own.

For working Australians, this election will present an opportunity to put the brakes on the dangerous slide in living standards that has been part of the Liberals plan for the last nine years.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus made it clear that the Union movement will be campaigning hard to see Scott Morrison handing back the keys to the Lodge.

Living standards and wages are going backwards after nearly a decade of neglecting and attacking workers’ rights.

We need a government who will step up and fix the insecure work crisis which has left one in three workers without basic rights and reliable incomes.

Sally McManus
ACTU Secretary

Sally McManus  -  ACTU Secretary

“Working people have had enough of a Prime Minister that is never there in a crisis,” she said.

While Morrison has ramped up his photo ops in a campaign more about personality than policy, we can’t afford to be distracted by the spin.

Just as important as questions of character in this campaign will be the issues of substance when it comes to the policies that affect the lives of working Australians.

A new report from the ACTU called ‘Missing In Action on Secure Jobs’ has presented a damning indictment of the Morrison Government and its reckless indifference to creating decent, secure jobs for Australians.

The report found casual workers in Australia are earning on average $350 less each week than their permanent full time or part time counterparts.

It revealed an estimated 4.15 million Australian workers are currently in insecure work – including casual work, labour hire, gig economy workers, and those on rolling fixed-term contracts.

That figure is about half a million more than when the Coalition came to power in late 2013.

These workers have been stuck in Scott Morrison’s trapdoor economy, just one pay day away from falling through into economic crisis.

McManus has warned that the re-election of the Morrison government would condemn these workers to another three years of tough work for low pay and no job security.

“As with too many issues that affect working Australians: Prime Minister Scott Morrison is missing in action when it comes to secure jobs. Rather than fighting to make sure workers have secure jobs that support them and their families, he has made it easier for employers to exploit workers,” she said.

“Insecure work doesn’t just strip workers of their wage and conditions. As this report shows it takes away their health, their time with family and friends and their overall well-being.”

“It’s also the reason why a record number of people are now forced to work more than one job. It is a huge problem that a record number of people now need more than one of them to get by,” McManus said.

The Union movement has crafted a plan to address the scourge of insecure work and return stability to the workplace for millions of Australians. It stated it will:

  • Introduce a common sense and fair definition of what constitutes a casual worker

  • Introduce ‘Same Job Same Pay’ laws so that labour hire workers are paid the same as their directly employed counterparts

  • Close legal loopholes that make it easy for employers to call employees ‘independent contractors’ (also known as ‘sham contracting’)

  • Grant gig economy workers with stronger workplace rights

  • Limit the use of fixed term contracts and allowing workers the opportunity to move to permanent jobs.

The reality is that a re-elected Morrison Government will turn its back on any attempt to stop the spread of insecure work and the slide in real wages for workers.

ACTU President Michele O’Neil outlined just how moribund this government is when it comes to issues impacting on workers.

The cost of living crisis has been caused by almost a decade of record or near-record low wage growth which has been ignored by a Government that has gone missing when working people need them.

Michele O’Neil
ACTU President

Michele O'Neil  -  ACTU President

The Prime Minister could take steps to create wage growth tomorrow. He could support a meaningful increase in the minimum wage and as one of the largest employers in the country he could support fair wage rises for his own employees, instead we have one-off payments designed save his own job,” O’Neil said.

It’s now up to all of us to make sure it’s Scott Morrison who doesn’t have a job come May 22.

Election 2022: So much on the line for workers

Election 2022: So much on the line for workers