MEDIA RELEASE: Tuesday 19 November, 2019

The Electrical Trades Union of Australia has ramped up its campaign targeting cross-bench senators over their support for Scott Morrison’s anti-worker bill, vowing to hold them to account all the way to the next election.

The Ensuring Integrity legislation would empower unelected, politicised agencies such as the Registered Organisations 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.

The second-round of newspaper ads target Senator Jacqui Lambie and Centre Alliance senators Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff over their support for the bill. The ads can be accessed at this link.

“This legislation is an abomination,” said Allen Hicks, ETU National Secretary.

“We are deeply opposed to it in its entirety.  The bill seeks to punish workers and their representatives for campaigning for safer workplaces and better conditions.”

“The ad campaign will also see a beefed up social media push and member-based campaigning,” said Troy Gray, ETU National President and Victoria Branch Secretary.

“Electrical workers around the country make no apology for making their displeasure known to Rex Patrick, Stirling Griff, Jackie Lambie and other cross bench senators. It is our democratic right to stick up for workers and their families against the draconian laws.”

The resolution passed unanimously by the ETU’s peak body today in Hobart also includes a commitment to continue this campaign until the next election. The union committed to campaigning against anyone who supported the Bill including affiliated representatives in the House of Representatives.

“At the same time as the government tries to cripple unions for minor mistakes in paper work we see big business and the banks get away with highway robbery,” said Mr Hicks.

“There were 56,000 criminal banking breaches, but bankers still sit in corporate positions. Over $300 million in wages has been stolen from workers, but the regulator just shrugs and says it’s disappointed.

“What the Morrison government wants to do is strip away the conditions that have been hard-won by unions in the past, and its first step is silencing the voice of the workers.”

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Zoe Power

0419 499 886, zoep@etuaustralia.org.au