Over 150,000 people marched in Melbourne today, in support of the Change the Rules campaign. (I was there with my hand-drawn anti-wage theft placard…) The key issues were wage growth, job security — and an immediate federal election. Olisa Heard, a cleaner, told the crowd, “The contractors treat us like dirt because this government don’t care for us lowly-paid workers, this government were the ones who dissolved our weekend penalty rates. If we get a pay increase with one company they lose the contract to a cheaper company because whoever bids the lower tender gets the contract … so our wages don’t go up.” One of the core Change the Rules demands is that workers should be able to bargain where the real power is — with the head contractor, host company, or on an industry basis. When Morrison eventually calls the election, think about workers like Olisa when you decide where to direct your vote.
10 April 2019