Branch Secretary's Message | February eWorker

Tuesday 12th February 2019

Welcome to the first edition of the eWorker for 2019. It's already shaping up to be a big year for the Union and the Union movement more broadly as we stand together to fight for a fair go for workers. 

We're seeing that more and more employers are trying to increase their profit margins by stagnating workers' wages and outsourcing jobs to private contractors for cheaper pay. It's becoming a race to the bottom for too many big businesses when it comes to their employees' wages and job security. This is bad for workers - and bad for the Australian economy as people have less and less money in their pockets to spend.

Just recently AWU Members at MSF Sugar Maryborough stood together and fought back to stop their Agreement from being terminated in the Fair Work Commission. Early last year, after stalling negotiations for several months, MSF Sugar told their workforce that they’d be applying to terminate their Enterprise Agreement and force them onto individual flexibility agreements. For many MSF Sugar Workers, this would have meant less pay and less job security - and less bargaining power. This win was only possible because AWU Members refused to back down even as their employer tried to strip back their hard-won working conditions. You can read more about their story here.

It's examples like this which show just how important it is for Australian workers to join together by becoming involved in their Union. And it's why Unions like the AWU are campaigning to Change the Rules. The current rules give more power to big business - and take away power from working people. Four in ten workers are now in insecure jobs - and that's not good enough. We need to change the rules so working people can access the basic rights they need to improve their living standards.

One of the ways you can  support for the Change the Rules campaign is to wear your AWU t-shirt or the ACTU's Change the Rules out and about in your community each and every Saturday from now until the Federal election is held.  And don't forget to take a selfie and post it to your social media (eg Facebook and Instagram) and include the tage #changetherules and #proudtobeunion.

Encourage a work colleague to get active and join the AWU. Together we are stronger.

In Unity


STEVE BAKER
Branch Secretary
The Australian Workers' Union Queensland