16 December 2020

Emma Dawson [$]: “The workers most at risk of losing pay and conditions from Porter’s IR package are those we have relied on the most during the worst months of this horrible year. The frontline workers in health and aged care, early childhood educators, those who restocked our supermarkets and delivered our parcels and groceries are the same employees who have been unable to bargain for a real wage rise since the GFC and who make up the ranks of the underemployed, swollen to record size even before the pandemic hit. … Put simply, our economy is unbalanced in favour of the very wealthy — the holders of assets and controllers of capital. Too much of that capital is unproductive, limiting growth at the time we need it most. We are at real risk of hollowing out the middle class in a way that has wreaked havoc on the US economy and is leading to social unrest not seen in developed economies for a century. The rebalancing of workplace relations needed to restore growth in jobs and incomes is not greater ‘flexibility’ for employers, but towards more power for workers, to claim their rightful share of the wealth they produce and which is being hoarded by increasingly fewer asset holders at the top of the global economic pile.”