In an address to The Evatt Foundation, one of Australia’s biggest unions argues that the failure of the current industrial relations system requires a new social contract to be forged so that workers have a genuine voice in their workplaces.
The speech titled, ‘The Inequality Crisis, Industry Bargaining and the Future of the Union Movement’, calls for the industrial relations system to move to an industry-based collective bargaining system to address the “disaster” that has left a quarter of the workforce relying on the bare minimum of pay and conditions.
United Voice National Secretary Jo-anne Schofield, explains why giving workers a genuine voice through effective collective bargaining is a solution to the wage crisis – a crisis that has hurt so many workers and has in turn led to an inequality crisis.
The speech covers:
- How did we get where we are, with about 40 per cent of Australians relying on insecure work and no clear idea whether their pay will cover their necessities.
- How a collective bargaining system for a modern economy must allow workers to bargain across their industries, as well as within their workplaces.
- How industry-wide settlements are a necessity in industries such as cleaning, security and aged care.
- United Voice will call on politicians to support industry bargaining as a just and reasonable solution to the wage crisis.
“The current industrial relations system has been nothing less than a disaster for many of the 120,000 workers represented
by United Voice - as well as millions of others. Our current industrial relations system has failed workers.”
“Both our wins, and our losses, have convinced us that it is time for United Voice to embark on a new fight for industry
bargaining. United Voice has long held the view that industry-wide settlements are a necessity in industries such as cleaning,
security and aged care.”
“A collective bargaining system for a modern economy must allow workers to bargain across their industries, as well as within
“We are talking about a new social contract between organised labour and employers that puts to rest the imbalance and the
related abuses of the current system.”
“Trust in enterprise bargaining was misplaced and ultimately very damaging to many workers.”
“Workers need to be able to have a say about their pay, their conditions. So cleaners, not in one office block, but in all office
blocks can bargain together, jointly and collectively with their employers to secure a fair deal.”
“United Voice is calling on politicians of all stripes to support industry bargaining as a just and reasonable solution to the
“If the industrial relations system can’t meet the needs of United Voice members, then it is not a fit-for-purpose system
in the modern economy.”
Contact: Media team – 0425 242 691. Full copy of speech available upon request.