Speaking at the National Press Club today ACTU Secretary Sally McManus highlighted that thirty years of trickle-down economics has failed to provide secure jobs or fair pay rises.
Ms McManus said “Too many people in Australia have no job security. They can no longer predict or plan their lives. Having a job you can count on is a foundation of the Australian way of life.’
“The rules must be changed so jobs with basic security and rights can be restored.
She also said that casual employment should be limited and properly defined “Workers in Australia can get trapped in casual employment. The average tenure is over three years.”
“We have to change the rules so big business can no longer deny people basic rights by refusing them permanent positions.
The under her leadership the ACTU will also push for Casual employees who have worked on a regular basis for six months, to have the right to choose to convert to permanent work if the want to.
She also highlighted that there needs to be equal rights for all workers, including those in the gig-economy, such as Über drivers.
“Classing workers as individual contractors has seen people paid below minimum wage, denied access to workers’ compensation, denied sick leave, superannuation, access to unfair dismissal, and denied the benefits of collective bargaining. Everyone deserves these rights.”
“We need to change the rules so everyone has basic rights, including the right to collectively bargain.” Said Ms McManus
And called for an end to the uncapped temporary working visa system. “The government is shipping in exploitation and taking job opportunities for locals through its temporary visa system, and it needs to end. “The system should favour permanent migration and local employment. Temporary visas should only be used for genuine shortages, with strong protections against abuse.”