November 10, 2005

Family!  Mates!  Career!  House!  Sport & Leisure!  Community!

The answer for Australians is: “It’s all of the above”. We toil long and hard to obtain and protect those things that are dearest to our hearts. The industrial relations changes that today were rammed through a Liberal Government controlled House of Representatives and now most likely will see the same fate in the Liberal Government controlled Senate, stand to tear apart the fabric of Australian Society and everything we have struggled to achieve collectively and individually.

What have Australians done to deserve this?

Put simply, nothing. Our long established system of arbitration and fair collective bargaining processes has led to both healthy profits for companies and decent wages and conditions for Australian workers. Apparently these profits are not enough for big business – they are behaving like pit bulls. Having tasted blood with previous changes by the Howard Government, they are now drooling, waiting to rip the flesh from the bones of ordinary Australian workers.

Australians currently rank amongst the worlds hardest workers, with longer average working hours and more unpaid overtime, than many other comparable economies worldwide. Now this Federal Government and its leader John Howard want to appease their masters from the multinational corporations by creating the working poor within our country. Could you survive on the U.S style minimum wage (which hasn’t changed for over eight years) of $5.00 per hour? Millions of the ‘working poor’ in America subsist on this amount and will never have the security of owning a home or the possessions we take for granted.

The Business Council of Australia ads on TV talk about reform and productivity. Do you honestly believe that the big end of town really care about the wages and conditions of workers when they stand in the way of larger profits?

Protect or lose your:

•    10/14 Roster
•    D&D Award
•    Minimum manning
•    Penalty rates
•    Unfair dismissal rights
•    Union and the ability to collectively bargain

Be part of the November 15 workers meetings and fight to defend your future and the future of your family. Venues are available on the FBEU web page.

Craig Harris
State Secretary