ANMF members and officials rallied alongside other working Australians across the country today to protest against the failure of the Morrison government to deliver secure jobs and fair pay.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Change the Rules rallies took part in 14 centres across the country, from Cairns to Launceston, to Perth.
ACTU President Michele O’Neill said to “change the rules, we must change the government”.
“One third of big business do not pay tax. There were 69 Australians who earnt more than $1 million last year who paid zero tax, not even the Medicare levy. We have a government governing for the big end of town.
“Wages are not keeping up with the costs of living. People are unable to pay for gas and electricity, the cost of petrol and childcare and even the cost of feeding the family. We need to fight to make sure we lift wages in this country: it’s not just good for workers, it’s good for the economy.
“We have to do something about insecure work. One women last week told me she gets a text message somewhere between 9-11pm at night about whether she has work the next day and whether she’s to start at 6-7am. People do not know if they are working tomorrow or next week, they can’t plan for the future – they can’t sign that lease let alone enter a mortgage or plan for a holiday.
A 120,000 throng crowd marched in Melbourne chanting “every background, every age, we demand a living wage.”
ANMF Victorian Branch Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick called on the union movement to stand up for those working in the aged care sector.
“When we think about union values we thing about respect for each other, fairness at work and fairness in our community. Union values mean we take others less fortunate with us and lend a helping hand. Union values are also about access to healthcare, quality aged care and to a proper education system; where we protect workers and give our children opportunities into the future.
“We need the union movement to stand up and demand safe staffing levels for nurses and carers working in aged care. We need a government that values aged care. We need to change the rules and change the government.”
Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary Luke Hilakari said while productivity had skyrocketed, wages had flatlined.
“You cannot ask for a loan for a house, or guarantee you can get to your children’s football match if you do not know what shift you’re working.
“Twenty-two of our biggest companies do not pay tax yet we cannot fund our hospitals and we cannot fund our schools. It’s time Scott Morrison called the election.”
For more information on the ANMF’s Ratios for Aged Care: Make Them Law campaign, visit www.anmf.org.au
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