Changing the Rules for a Fairer Australia

December 11, 2018 News

Australia’s workplace laws used to be based on the simple idea that workers and employers should get a ‘fair go all round’.
Fairness should be at the heart of our workplace laws but at the moment, the laws are not fair to workers.
When workplace laws:

  • Allow penalty rates to be cut without increases to base rates of pay;
  • Allow wage levels to be at a record low as a proportion of the economy;
  • Can’t tackle wage theft because the chance of getting caught is so small;
  • Allow large multinational corporations from paying their fair share of tax;
  • Don’t stop superannuation going unpaid;
  • Don’t allow workers to bargain to keep their jobs secure against labour hire;

then the workplace rules are broken and we need to change the rules.

The rules need to be changed to restore a ‘fair go all round’ to give all working people the basic rights they need to improve their living standards.

As a result, the SDA and the whole of the trade union movement have adopted a comprehensive policy going forward.

This policy reflects the aspirations of working people and encompasses some key principles.

We want:

Fair Pay:

  • Restoring penalty rates;
  • Guaranteeing a living wage;
  • Free and fair bargaining;
  • A strong Award system that can be improved in line with community standards.

More secure jobs:

  • Properly defined and limited casual employment;
  • Permanent work, whether full-time or part-time, with fair roster rights;
  • Equal rights for all workers including site rates for labour hire workers;
  • The right to bargain to prevent jobs being outsourced.

Enforceable rights at work:

  • A strong and independent industrial umpire;
  • An end to wage theft;
  • An end to unpaid superannuation;
  • A right to arbitrate disputes;
  • The right to join and be represented by one’s union.

As part of the on-going campaign, the SDA and other Queensland unions held a rally in Brisbane City on November 20. Thousands of union members rallied, listened to several speeches and peacefully walked to the Fair Work Commission in Elizabeth Street.

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