Unions say our children's futures are under threat
QUEENSLAND Council of Unions' Ros McLennan says we're at a crossroads and our children and grandchildren will pay the price if workers don't act now.
"I urge every single parent in Gladstone to stand up, speak out and get involved in this campaign," Ms McLennan said.
She was in Gladstone yesterday to address union members and community supporters at the launch of the Change the Rules campaign.
The agenda features a six-point plan including stronger negotiation tools for employees, bringing back double time penalty rates on Sundays and raising the minimum wage.
"The issues we're campaigning on are really important for people in Gladstone," the QCU general secretary said.
"Insecure work including labour hire, low pay, workplace rights that can't be enforced and big business having too much power are resonating very strongly here and in Central Queensland."
She said employment insecurity was at a record high.
"We've got 40 per cent of Australians on some kind of casual labour hire or sham contracting set up at the moment," Ms McLennan said.
"That includes 900,000 Queenslanders captured in a dog-eat-dog, hand-to-mouth kind of existence and it's just not acceptable."
Ms McLennan pointed to the recent ACTU poll that indicated a high level of support for the campaign "to level the playing field".
"Big business profits are up 39 per cent, while real wages growth is crawling along at 0.9 per cent," she said.
"It's so bad that even the governor of the Reserve Bank is saying Australians need a pay rise.
"People also objected strongly to the Federal Government wanting to give 80 billion dollars of taxpayers' money to big businesses and banks.
"Seventy per cent believe it should be spent on schools, health, and community services that all workers and their families can benefit from."