ETU stands by ad campaign calling out union busting bill

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Friday 1 November, 2019

The Electrical Trades Union will not suspend its ad campaign which holds cross-bench senators to account for supporting Scott Morrison’s union busting bill.

The Ensuring Integrity legislation would empower unelected, politicised agencies such as the Registered Organisation Commission to shut down unions and disqualify union leaders, based on a single breach of the Fair Work Act, such as submitting late paperwork. These powers are unprecedented in the developed world.

Centre Alliance Senator, Rex Patrick has proposed amendments to the laws, prompting an ETU ad campaign that asks him and other cross bench senators to oppose the bill in its entirety. Senator Patrick has now said he won’t meet with union leaders to discuss their concerns whilst the ad campaign continues.

“Campaigning for change is the very reason unions exist. Without the labour movement, this country would not have weekends, holidays, sick pay or superannuation,” said Allen Hicks, ETU National Secretary.

“We are in a pitched battle to prevent the worst piece of anti-union, anti-worker legislation this country has ever seen, all at a time when wage theft is rampant and incomes are stagnant. Australia needs stronger unions to restore balance and drive justice for working people.

“Senator Patrick has a pivotal role in whether this bill is passed and becomes legislation. We have every right to question his judgement and other decision makers, in a robust fashion.

“This legislation is an abomination. We are deeply opposed to it in its entirety. While we welcome Senator Patrick’s concerns, his amendments simply put lipstick on a pig. He ought to oppose this bill in its entirety, that is what our campaign is about.

“Electricians and energy workers around the country make no apology for making their displeasure known to the Centre Alliance, Jackie Lambie and other cross bench senators. This is our democratic right as an organisation of working men and women.

“Senator Patrick may not like our ads, just as we don’t like his current position on this bill. That should not prevent him from meeting with Union leaders to discuss these horrendous proposed laws. Again we call upon Senator Patrick and others to oppose this autocratic bill in the interest of all working men and women in this country.”

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Zoe Power

0419 499 886, [email protected]

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