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We Are Union VTHC
We Are Union Journal
News from the working class
What do you mean, 'Closing the Loopholes'?

State of the Union 24

Workers in union across Victoria continue to bargain for nation-leading industrial wins that flow through our communities. 

In 2023 we saw significant wins on issues where unionists applied pressure - first, the prohibition on the use of engineered st construction unions.

Exposure to silica dust from engineered stone has led to a massive growth in workers suffering the serious lung disease silicosis. WHS ministers prohibited its use nationwide in 2023.

Another big win came in response to a mere plan for a campaign. Last year VTHC brought together a coalition of community organisations to demand action on predatory pokies in suburban venues. The facts were shocking; Victorians spend $6.1 million on pokies every day, mostly in working class communities. From mid-2024 pokies will require mandatory pre-commitment limits, and all pokies in all venues  (outside Crown casino)  will be forced to shut between 4am and 10am. 

Victorian Trades Hall has been advocating for a number of legislative improvements in recent years. These should be the starting point of the Government’s third term legislative agenda. 

The use of Non-Disclosure Agreements in Workplace Sexual Harassment and abuse settlements must be ended, to begin addressing gendered violence in the workplace. NDAs silence Victim/Survivors and prevent them from telling their own story.

We need to create strong data protections controls on surveillance and data management in the workplace.

The Victorian Government must adopt the Psychosocial Health Regulations as a matter of urgency. Victoria was the first jurisdiction in Australia to announce Psychological Health Regulations (May 2021)  but is now the only jurisdiction who has not introduced Regulations.

Today, workers spend on average 3.5 years in a role, and many Victorian workers may never benefit from an extended paid career break - this needs to change. Victoria’s Portable Long Service Leave scheme should be expanded to all Victorian workers.