More members means stronger action

Since the federal election the Coalition and big business has become emboldened by the result.

We now have a Prime Minister who is openly advocating that Australia’s governments stop running hospitals and schools and outsource it to private enterprise. We have ministers who are attacking the most vulnerable in our society while banks and big business continue to get away with wage theft, bullying behaviour and fraudulent behaviour.

The Morrison Government is launching an outright attack on workers and dressing it up as tackling the ‘bad guy’. The truth is that they let the bad guys get away with all sorts of things. The Morrison Government is failing Australians by letting the banks get away with dodgy practices like billing dead people; continuing to allow employers to get away with wage theft and refusing to call it wage theft; dismantling penalty rates; more attacks on Medicare and failing to increase Newstart which hasn’t seen an increase since 1994.

Across the health sector we’re seeing senior executives being emboldened telling people they can’t comply, and won’t comply with an agreement because they don’t have the funding. But they will demand that you and your colleagues comply with the same agreement, do more and more work, and then blame you when you can’t get through gigantic workloads left by ever dwindling workforces. These are the same executives who have no problems lining up to get bigger bonuses but do very little to properly manage our health services when they refuse to do things like comply with agreements.

In the wake of the federal election we find ourselves confronted with a government more willing to attack workers, the vulnerable and unions than do something about companies that flaunt Australian law or banks that undertake fraudulent behaviour or labour-hire firms that exploit staff in order to maximise profits. There is an endless list of corporate misconduct that the Morrison Government seems to laud and approve of given their failure to tackle the lawlessness of Australian corporations. Unfortunately in the health sector we’re seeing more and more corporate robber barons set up shop given it is seen as “the growth industry”. Just think of Australian Clinical Labs or Dorevitch Pathology, companies who claim to have our healthcare in their best interests but slash workforces and undermine health professions to the point that the integrity in our healthcare system is being severely eroded; and the trust in our health organisations to deliver high quality and safe care is severely questioned.

That’s why it’s never been more important to join your Union. It is much harder for bad managements and the government to take away our rights at work when we stick together and fight for our rights. We saw how workers united to get rid of WorkChoices and the Howard Government. With the growing attacks on workers and unions it’s vital we stick together and fight together to ensure that workers’ rights aren’t further eroded.

If every member asked a colleague to join the Union, our effort to push back and fight against the growing attacks on workers and unions will be that much stronger. And, just as importantly, show the Morrison Government and big business that workers will not silently allow their rights to be destroyed.

Paul Elliott

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