The following comes from Australian Unions and is about the Federal Government’s Integrity Bill, designed to be a major attack on the whole union movement in Australia, and as its authors claim, merely a means to deal with those who act unlawfully. If it was, there would not be a bill targeting only unions. It would target all those in important positions. Politicians and company directors for instance. This affects all workers, and it stands to flow onto the whole community. The statement has been reproduced in full.
Bad for workers
All Australian workers benefit from the work of unions. If unions are shut down or silenced, who will stand up to the powerful, make sure workers get their rights and fight to improve workers’ rights?
Even if you’re not a member of a union, you benefit from the work of unions – whether that’s better nurse-patient ratios, better paid teachers or better safety standards for firefighters
The only people who would benefit from these laws are the Morrison Government and unethical employers, who are seeking to silence workers striving for fairer pay and more secure jobs.
The right to come together, the Freedom to Associate, is a fundamental human right, at the heart of our democracy. It is a right protected by the UN and two International Labour Organisation treaties that Australia has signed.
Australia already has one of the most restrictive set of regulations on workers’ organisations among democratic nations. This extreme new law would place Australia even further outside the rest of the world and more aligned with authoritarian, undemocratic countries.
The Morrison government has overseen raids on journalists and is now attacking working people’s freedom to run their own unions. These are dangerous attacks on fundamental pillars of democracy.
To balance the power of corporations and governments, people need a free press and the right to form unions whose own democratic processes are free from interference.
“This union busting law is one of the most authoritarian pieces of draft law we’ve seen anywhere in the world.”
No corporate or political equivalent
Scott Morrison is going after ordinary working people, 90 percent of whom are unpaid volunteers on management committees but ignoring what has already been discovered in banks, is being uncovered in aged care corporations and what his own ministers are doing.
These are people who volunteer some of their time every week so help run their union, and they will be subject to more standards than company directors, just because they work for a union.
We’ve seen countless scandals and examples of unethical behaviour from members of the Morrison government who are not held to account.
Every day we see employers engaging in wage theft and people being killed at work. If these laws applied equally to corporations, we would see banks, multinational pizza chains and the restaurants of celebrity chefs closed down for repeatedly breaking workplace laws and their top Executives sacked.
These proposed laws put the rights of millions of working people on the line.
It is part of the Liberal Party and big business’s attempts to continually bully and intimidate unions because unions stand up for working people and call the government and employers to account. Union members earn on average $275 a week more than people who are not union members.
You don’t have to be a union member to know that unions have a critical role to play in a healthy democracy and its alarming to see a government try to assert this much control over them.
The average union member is a 46-year-old woman who is a nurse. The Morrison Government and some in business would like to paint a very different picture because unions stand up to the powerful in our country.