ETU National News

ACTU Congress sparks renewed vigour from unions to campaign for the rights at work and a fairer Australia!

Annette Moran - Thursday, May 17, 2012
Almost 1000 delegates representing workers from every industry and sector in Australia attended the ACTU Congress at the Sydney Convention Centre, which was held from 15 – 17 May 2012.

Allen Hicks, the National Assistant Secretary, said the ACTU Congress was a great success and delegates left invigorated by a clear, renewed plan to campaign for better rights for workers within a fairer economy and society.  

“In particular, our ETU National campaign ‘Stand up for Apprentices’ was circulated amongst the union delegates to raise awareness and support.  It is our hope that the ETU’s application to Fair Work Australia will be accepted and the working conditions of apprentices be improved.” You can show your support for the campaign by visiting our website.

The ACTU Congress occurs triennially and President Ged Kearney claimed the Congress reinforced Australian unions’ position as the largest, most democratic and dynamic social movement in the nation, working on behalf of two million members and millions more working Australians.

“We have ended three days of meetings inspired to pursue justice in the workplace and across the economy for the mums, dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters who go to work in hundreds of thousands of workplaces across Australia every single day,” Ms Kearney said.

“We went into this Congress with a determined agenda and we have emerged with a distinct roadmap for a better future based on secure jobs for all. The centrepiece of this year’s Congress was our ‘Secure Jobs. Better Future campaign’, with the release of the report of the Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work, Lives on Hold: Unlocking the potential of Australia’s workforce.

“Unions have endorsed the report’s recommendations to campaign for better rights for casual and contract workers, a much larger investment in Australia’s workforce and an overhaul of our welfare system. These will be the building blocks of reforms to undo the damage caused by the spread of insecure work.”

Incoming ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said he would be taking the helm of a movement with a renewed focus on campaigning for the interests of working Australians and their families.

“The Congress has endorsed a plan to strengthen the ability of unions to speak up for workers and the community for the values of fairness, equity and justice, and – when necessary - against an increasingly hostile business and right wing political agenda.

“We will take the fight up to employers leading the incessant attack on workers’ rights, through a wider campaign to win and preserve better entitlements for all workers, because that is what Australian workers deserve and it is what they expect of the union they choose to belong to.”

For more information on the ACTU Congress 2012 policies, speech and other highlights visit their website at

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