Contributed by Joe Montero
Today’s Melbourne union rally against the Turnbull government’s war on workers was a massive success. And watch out Malcolm, because this could be a repeat of the WorkChoices campaign that Brought the Howard government down. Counting the people who joined in the march as it progressed though the city, close to 50,000 were there.
No doubt there will be those who will try to minimise the importance of the march. But they can’t take away that this is a good start for a movement that has the potential to grow exponentially through the year and beyond, if the need is there.
The return of a Gestapo style system in the construction industry that goes by the acronym of the ABCC and the associated criminalisation of its unions and workers does not sit well and Turnbull and his cronies may just end up dropping a rock on their own feet. Especially galling, is the attack on occupational health and safety. CFMEU Victorian secretary John Setka said that the breaking of the last agreement cost 330 lives. Three more individuals have been killed this week.
It shows that the Turnbull government is prepared to go to any lengths to destroy wage levels and working conditions in this a country
So does the cutting of penalty rates in the hospitality industry, at the same time as he hands over billions of dollars of tax payers money, to mates sitting comfortably in the boardrooms of the biggest corporations.
The government’s intent revealed again with the cutting of penalty rates in the hospitality industry.
These attacks are generating an angry response from those directly affected and every fair minded person. People are starting to ask, who is next?
A campaign of ongoing actions is already being planned. Unions are drawing closer together. A big part of building up the strength of the movement is the forging of strong links with the broader community. This means working at the local level. It a pillar of the WorkChoices campaign. It must be again.
Fighting the war on workers being waged by the Turnbull government is not just a matter for Melbourne. The battle must be joined in every city and centre.
People stood up in many other places too. Large rallies occurred in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast. There will be one in Perth on 21 March.