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Issue #1864      April 10, 2019

Editorial

Where we stand

The working class and the trade union movement in Australia are facing the most serious attack this century. Together with other policies being implemented by the Morrison government, the budget will fundamentally change for the worse the social, economic and political lives of the working people of Australia. These policies can and must be defeated.

The deregulation of the economy and the adoption of economic rationalist policies have substantially assisted the transnational corporations plunder the wealth of Australia.

Workers’ living and working conditions have been attacked. The real value of wages has been reduced. Twelve-hour shifts and workplace stress are rife. Casualisation and contracting out along with a constant attack on wages, including the cuts in penalty rates, undermine job security and family life. Big companies have benefited enormously with increased profits, but capital is never satisfied.

The ultimate aim of the corporations, with the aid of government, is a nation without unions, without regulations or any other impediments to the profit-making processes of the big corporations: For Australia to become a country where employers hire and fire workers at will, obliging them to work all hours under any conditions.

What can be done

The CPA supports and urges maximum participation in all ACTU co-ordinated rallies and marches being organised by the Trades and Labor Councils. These must be seen as the beginning of a massive campaign in which all progressive and democratic forces become mobilised, not simply the means to have an ALP government elected.

Every possible opportunity must be taken to inform workers and to discuss the campaigns, not just at trade union and political meetings, but in every student, pensioner and other community organisation.

Innovative forms of protest should be developed and the word “strike” must be put back into the vocabulary.

Planning should begin now to make implacable opposition to anti-union legislation and the entire reactionary social and economic agenda of the Liberal-National Coalition. The Morrison government’s agenda is rotten through and through and must be defeated.

Looking ahead, it will be necessary and possible to build an all-embracing coalition of forces to oppose the pro-business agenda. This should include the whole of the trade union movement, the whole of the labour movement, community organisations, political parties, social and welfare groups, progressive church bodies and organisations concerned with democratic rights.

Previous anti-union legislation was busted by mass trade union action. The 1968 trade union action following the jailing of Clarrie O’Shea shows how such legislation can be made inoperable. This is how the current anti-worker legislation can also be defeated.

Never forget the history of politics and the ceaseless attacks on workers’ rights and conditions and on trade unions.

We are on the side of the workers. We are for job security, jobs for the unemployed, a living wage for all workers and the maintenance of traditional democratic rights that have been fought for and won in the past.

This means that we have to oppose the big corporations – Rio Tinto, BHP, the big banks and others. We have to oppose the policies of the federal government which is implementing the policies and directives of the big corporations.

That’s where we stand!

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