2 April 2020

The United Workers Union’s Tim Kennedy: “[A] wage guarantee … should be a right. Your income support should not be predicated on how privileged you were before the crisis. The problem with only focusing on a jobs guarantee — a danger the union movement could fall for — is that it entrenches the divide between workers who were in secure work before the crisis and those who weren’t. This speaks to our other demands, including a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments. We are supporting calls for a rent strike. We also want to open Medicare up for everyone in the country and introduce an amnesty for workers without a visa. And we want to raise the tax-free threshold, so that lower-income earners can cope. … The system is broken and it’s not good enough to patch it up and sail on through. We’ve seen these crises keep coming; after 2008–9, they said it was a once in fifty-year thing. Ten years later, a pandemic knocked capitalism over very quickly. … And on top of it all, we’ve got a climate crisis that keeps ratcheting up every year, which also threatens the system. … Our challenge is to use the moment to really press for change. We need to take action now. … Now is the time to fight for it.”