Australian unions, pseudo-left sign up to Labor’s re-election campaign


Australian unions, pseudo-left sign up to Labor’s re-election campaign

Oscar Grenfell

5 August 2017

A Unions New South Wales delegates’ meeting last week provided a graphic example of how the unions and their allies in the various pseudo-left organisations are seeking to channel widespread anger over social inequality, declining wages and the gutting of social spending, into the re-election of a federal Labor government.

Speaking at the meeting on July 28, Sally McManus, secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), referenced the mounting social crisis facing working people. She noted that inequality in Australia is at its “worst level in 70 years,” with the richest 1 percent of the population controlling more wealth than the poorest 70 percent.

McManus added: “Since the global economic crisis nearly all wealth has gone to the top.” She listed the abolition of weekend penalty wages and draconian industrial laws as examples of the fact that “workers’ rights are no longer strong enough.” McManus has previously described herself as a “democratic socialist.”

McManus’ posture is shot through with hypocrisy. What she was presenting is a short-list of the consequences of the collaboration of the unions with successive governments, Labor and the Liberal-National Coalition, and the major corporations.

It was the ACTU that signed a series of accords with Labor governments and big business in the 1980s, which provided for the deregulation of the economy. This led to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs.

The unions, working with the Labor Party, also spearheaded the introduction of “enterprise bargaining” in the early 1990s. For more than 20 years, union bureaucrats have signed off on pro-business enterprise…

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