Workplace health and safety reps applaud Daniel Andrews’ commitment to Industrial Manslaughter legislation

The Victorian Trades Hall Council has applauded Daniel Andrews’ commitment to Industrial Manslaughter legislation as a giant leap towards justice for the families of workers killed by unsafe workplace practices.

The laws announced by Labor today would ensure that when a company’s negligence kills a worker, those responsible could be held criminally responsible and face punishment. At present, even companies found guilty of serious negligence only face fines.

Quotes attributable: Luke Hilakari, Victorian Trades Hall Council

 “Right now, business is treating the injuries and deaths of Victorian workers as just a cost of doing business.”

“But when a worker dies, more than just one life is destroyed. Entire families and communities are torn apart, and workmates carry the trauma for the rest of their lives. That is the true cost of neglecting workers’ safety concerns. It is fundamentally unjust that those in charge just pay a fine and move on.”

“Industrial manslaughter laws will mean those responsible for workplace deaths can be held accountable, and ultimately that will mean workers’ safety concerns carry greater weight. That will have a huge impact on safety.”

 “We welcome this announcement from Daniel Andrews. Industrial manslaughter laws will make Victorian workplaces safer for everyone.”

“Nobody should die at work. These laws signal that workers’ lives can’t just be written off on a balance sheet in Victoria.

“We call on Matthew Guy to match the Labor Party’s commitment and support Industrial Manslaughter legislation”

Bad bosses are on notice: the Andrews Government is cracking down on wage theft.

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Victorian Trades Hall Council and the Young Workers Centre have welcomed the Andrews Government’s commitment to making Wage Theft a crime in Victoria.


Quotes attributable: Keelia Fitzpatrick, Young Workers Centre Coordinator


“Young workers deserve and should expect the protection of the law, just like everyone else. Wage theft is fundamentally exploitative and unjust, and it is absolutely appropriate that it should be treated like any other crime.”


No-one deserves to have their hard-earned wages stolen by their boss. The Andrews Government’s support for wage theft criminalisation means justice is within reach for thousands and thousands of young Victorians.”


“Until now, bosses who steal from their employees have thumbed their noses at the law. Workers who experience wage theft have been too afraid to speak up. Wage theft has become so normalised that some young people don’t actually know what it’s like to be paid correctly. So this announcement from Premier Andrews is absolutely a game changer.”


Quotes attributable: Luke Hilakari, Secretary Victorian Trades Hall Council


“Thanks to Premier Andrews, wage theft is off the menu in Victoria.”


“This announcement is a warning to bad bosses; wage theft is a crime, and if you steal from workers you will face criminal charges. Victoria does not tolerate stealing from working people.”


“And for tens of thousands of businesses who are doing the right thing, this announcement will bring relief from being under-cut by shonky operators.”


“The rules have not been protecting Victorian workers from having their wages stolen, so the rules need to change. We look forward to working with the Andrews Government to do that”.


“We call on Mathew Guy and the Liberal Party to get serious on the rampant wage theft blighting Victoria, and follow Premier Andrews’ lead on this issue.”


More than 50 thousand marching to Change the Rules in Melbourne

More than 50 thousand people are expected to fill the streets of Melbourne tomorrow (9/05/2018). Usual traffic will be brought to a halt by a sea of working Victorians demanding change.

Marchers will assemble for a 10am start at Victorian Trades Hall Council on the corner of Victoria and Lygon streets, and from 10.30am will start marching towards the Magistrates Court on William Street. The march will then proceed to the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets.

Traffic in the city is likely to be disrupted from 9am – 1pm as more than 50,000 Victorians call for political change.

Quotes attributable, Luke Hilakari:

“This many people don’t take mass action every day, and we don’t take it without a very good reason. The rules aren’t working for working people. Ordinary people don’t feel that Malcolm Turnbull is listening. So we are using people power, we are forcing the politicians and big business to listen.

“Over 50,000 people marching peacefully through the city is something the politicians can’t ignore. This is the people of Victoria saying enough: something must change”.

“Tonight, Malcolm Turnbull will hand down an election budget that will include tax cuts for big business and cuts to the vital public services that working people rely on. That’s not what people want. We want good, secure jobs, quality education and training, and a world class public healthcare system. Australia needs a pay rise; we need wages that sustain a family and we need women’s work to be valued equally. We demand laws that keep workers safe on the job. We want our penalty rates back. And we need an industrial relations system that puts the power back in workers’ hands. Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t get it, and that’s why he’s got to go”.

“Tomorrow, working people are standing up and fighting back. We’re going to change the rules”

March itinerary

9.45am - In front of the 8 Hour Day Monument (Cnr Russel and Victoria Streets): Media conference with Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary Luke Hilakari

10.15am Outside Trades Hall (Cnr Lygon and Victoria Streets): Welcome to country and speeches including Luke Hilakari

11.15am Outside Magistrates Court (233 William Street): Speeches including ETU Victoria State Secretary Troy Gray and Plumbers Union State Secretary Earl Setches

12.20pm Intersection Flinders and Swantson Streets: Speeches including ACTU Secretary Sally McManus and workers from ESSO Longford and early childhood education

1pm - End of rally

Statement from Luke Hilakari regarding VICT

Obviously I’m very disappointed in today’s ruling.

VICT parent company ICTSI is notorious for union busting and extreme anti-worker tactics in developing countries. This is a business model that we don’t need in Australia. There should be effective laws in this country that allow working people to stand together and fight for their rights at work.

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Statement regarding Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) and the Webb Dock Community Assembly

Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary Luke Hilakari was served with legal documents relating to VICT’s actions at Webb Dock, at his family home on Saturday afternoon. This is the first time any Secretary of Trades Hall has ever been directly targeted in such a hostile manner.

This is a severe and unprecedented escalation by VICT, who have attempted to intimidate not just Trades Hall but all Australian working people through this extreme action. 

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61.6% Support for Marriage Equality!

LGBTI Victorians, allies and unionists are today celebrating an historic YES vote for marriage equality, with 61.6% of Australians saying ‘yes’ to fairness, compassion, equality and love in the marriage law survey.

Tonight, unionists and the LGBTI community will come together on Lygon Street Carlton outside Trades Hall to celebrate this historic achievement and mark the clearing of one more hurdle in the campaign toward marriage equality.


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Marriage Survey results events


9.30am - 11.30am, Wednesday 15 November

Friends and supporters are invited to join the Equality Campaign at a special Marriage Equality Results Announcement to be held outside the State Library, Melbourne, on Wednesday 15 November.

The community event — one of many to be held around the country — will commence at 9.30am, with the survey results live streamed to the crowd from Canberra at 10am.

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On the closure of Toyota's Altona plant

At around midday today, the last Toyota will roll off the production line in Altona, marking the end of automotive manufacturing in Victoria.

2500 jobs gone, just like that.

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Pinchy the giant Lobster urges Matthew Guy to keep Grand Final Eve public holiday

Pinchy, a 5 metre tall inflatable lobster, will be joining activists outside the State Library on Thursday afternoon to demand Matthew Guy commit to keeping the Grand Final Eve public holiday.

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Victorian Trades Hall hosts record-breaking doorknock for marriage equality

Victorian Trades Hall is a proud supporter of marriage equality.

Doorknocking events on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June, designed to encourage ‘yes’ voters to complete and return their survey forms, are the expected to be the largest ever for marriage equality.

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We Volunteers

We Are Union. We are a movement of people standing together for a just and equitable Victoria where:

  • all people are respected and valued, 
  • all working people are organised, safe, and winning at work

We organise our communities to build support for union, industrial, and social campaigns, and we're excited to have you on board.