25 February 2020

Secretary of Unions NSW Mark Morey on responding to automation [$] and the “decoupling” of GDP and productivity growth on one hand, and jobs and wages on the other: “Banning unpaid overtime and providing a stronger safety net are just some of the options for changing the way our economy operates, and tilting the balance back in favour of humans. Giving workers greater bargaining power in the workplace, by removing restrictions on the right to strike, would also help take the handbrake off wages. But ideas like this first require a fundamental change in the mindset of our politicians — away from small government conservatism and towards a more ambitious style of governing. Australian workers have been blanched, but were not boiled yet. That’s why the robot apocalypse itself should not be our biggest fear. Our biggest fear should lie in the failure of political leaders to confront the crisis of the Great Decoupling. Now is not the time for more timidity in politics. We need courageous leaders and strong, interventionist governments, who are prepared to put the needs of people before the demands of corporations.”