Secretary's Message | eWorker | February 2018

Thursday 01st February 2018

Welcome to the February eWorker for 2018

Looking at the year ahead, the challenges continue to highlight just how important it is for working people to stand together in strength as part of the Union. 

Right now, workers throughout this country are experiencing the single greatest relative decline in living standards since the recession of 1990/1991. Wages growth has stagnated, whilst at the same time living costs (particularly domestic energy costs) have skyrocketed.

Whilst nominal employment growth looks good, the underlying reality is that well-paid and secure jobs in manufacturing and other value-adding industries are being replaced by less secure and lower paying jobs. Our federal government increasingly looks incapable of addressing these structural issues, let alone understanding them from the perspective of working families. 

Against this backdrop, it is up to all of us as Unionists to dig in deep and organise our workplaces so that we give ourselves the best chance of protecting, and enhancing, our working wages and conditions in order to keep ourselves ahead of cost of living increases.

Workers, let alone the national economy, can ill-afford a protracted period of low wage growth because it impacts on private sector debt, lower domestic savings, and lower tax receipts that should go to providing all of us with the best health, education and transport systems that we can support.

It's never been a more important time to join the Union.

Talk to your work colleagues, friends and family about joining the Union to fight for a secure future with fair wages, decent conditions and safe workplaces.

We're stronger together. 

Ben Swan
Branch Secretary, AWU Queensland