The impact of 457 visas on work in this country has been huge. The scheme has undercut wages for hundreds of thousands of workers, been a risk to health and safety, and undermined a genuine commitment to skills and training across the board when Australia needs it most. But Malcolm Turnbull’s rebadging of the system will do nothing to address its shortfalls; whether it will prove as politically popular as the Prime Minister is hoping is doubtful.
In the backlash to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus’ comments on the 7.30 report, most commentators have grudgingly acknowledged that throughout history, it has been necessary and just to break the law to achieve positive change, and that indeed these instances are moments of immense cultural and historical pride.
The Eureka Stockade, the fight for Equal Pay, the protests against the war in Vietnam, the first Mardi Gras, Green bans, Apartheid boycotts, Wave Hill; all of these involved acts of civil disobedience, and defiance of bad laws. But even as commentators acknowledge this historical reality, they are quick to assert that we have “moved past” the days when laws had to be broken to achieve change.Read more
180 days after 55 Carlton United Brewery maintenance workers were greedily sacked and offered their jobs back at a 65% pay cut, they're back at work! The 55 return to secure jobs, on the same pay and improved conditions.Read more
If you woke up this morning marvelling at how a billionaire hate-carrot got elected President of the USA yesterday, and despairing at what that means for working people, racial justice, and gender equality, despair no more!
The best cure for your sense of hopelessness is to take action with other awesome activists. And luckily, there are HEAPS of ways to do that in just the next few weeks. Here are a few!
Your description of Victorian unions’ world-leading introduction of domestic and family violence leave as “generous” is a wilful mischaracterisation of important workplace reform.Read more
Scabby the rat makes his Oz debut, Allied Health members escape a Jurassic career structure, and Early Childhood Educators thunderclap for Equal Pay.Read more
The big news about the Productivity Commission’s draft report has been the attack on Sunday Penalty Rates. That’s not surprising –4.2million Australians work on Sundays, and cuts to Sunday pay in the retail and hospitality industries will almost certainly trickle through to others.
But in case you didn’t get around to reading the 1000 page report because you were, you know, working, here’s a brief overview of some of the other nasties it contains for working Australians.