Unions to fight for job security and decent wages

(Australian Associated Press)

The Australian Council of Trade Unions will make a series of announcements in the coming months outlining proposed changes to Australian workplace rules.

Speaking at a gathering of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics in Adelaide on Wednesday, ACTU secretary Sally McManus said many workplace laws are outdated and to the detriment of workers.

The Change the Rules campaign will fight for changes that extend rights to all workers, promote job security and ensure a decent living wage.

“We need a system that reduces inequality, raises living standards and supports jobs,” Ms McManus said.

The trade unionist spoke at length on the role of enterprise bargaining agreements, which she said have not kept up with community standards.

“Unfortunately, they’ve been left to wither and they’re now out of date,” she said.

“That’s part of the reason why we’re seeing a problem in the decline of enterprise bargaining, because they’re about 30 per cent less than what the — rates of bargain outcomes are.”

She also took aim at the Fair Work Commission and the diminished power of unions in the bargaining process.

The reforms will come ahead of the 2019 federal election, but Ms McManus shirked the suggestion only a Labor government would deliver the proposals.

“Everyone knows there’s a big problem with insecure work and low wage growth,” she said.

Really it’s the issue of solutions and we’re going to be the people who are going to promote those solutions, and argue for those solutions and we hope that all political parties respond to that.”


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