10 April 2019

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.