Australian unions launch campaign to re-elect an anti-working class Labor government


Australian unions launch campaign to re-elect an anti-working class Labor government

Terry Cook and Oscar Grenfell

19 April 2018

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), the national union umbrella federation, is conducting a multi-million dollar campaign entitled “Change the Rules.” The operation—which includes a blitz of television and social media advertising, and limited protests over the coming weeks—is a desperate attempt to channel mounting disaffection over social inequality, the rising cost of living and record-low wage growth behind the election of another pro-business federal Labor government.

Launching the campaign in a National Press Club address last month, ACTU secretary Sally McManus cynically invoked the deepening social crisis, for which the trade unions are responsible due to their collaboration with the successive governments and the corporate elite.

McManus denounced the extent of social inequality, which she observed was at a 70-year high. She reviewed the growing prevalence of casual and precarious employment, falling wages, the rising cost of living and increasing poverty.

McManus’ address included populist denunciations of big business and the Liberal-National Coalition government headed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “The billionaire class is not going to limit its greed,” she declared. “It needs limits imposed, and it is us, the people of Australia, who must do this.”

McManus pointed to mounting opposition in the working class, saying: “This crisis is making Australian workers angry. Angry at the indifference of the Turnbull government, which instructs us to wait patiently for the trickle-down to happen. Angry at CEOs whose pay and bonuses soar while families struggle to pay the bills.”

McManus and the ACTU…

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