Thousands of workers joined forces at rallies all over Australia last week in support of the Change the Rules campaign and IEU organisers and members were in the thick of the action.
ACTU President Michele O’Neil said it was time for workers to stand up and fight for a fairer Australia and a change of rules.
She said it was time the rich and big companies paid their share of tax, time workers had a living wage not a minimum wage, time wages went up more than the cost of living, time men and women were paid equally and time women experiencing domestic violence didn’t have to choose between their job or their safety.
Russell Dessaix-Chin, science and PE teacher at Holy Spirit Bellambi said he came to the rally to show his solidarity and because he was proud to be union.
“Power has been controlling things too long. Tradies and nurses have a hard time. I feel passionate about equality for everybody.”
Teacher and Executive Member Jeff Pratt of Mt St Patrick’s College Murwillumbah came because he is a great believer in the rights of workers to be able to bargain and strike.
He said teachers, and students and the workforce at large need arbitration rights and the ability to bargain.
“Big business has been getting away with things the average person doesn’t get away with in terms of tax.
“The gap between rich and poor seems to be getting bigger and we need a rules change to reduce this gap and allow working people to have a more balanced lifestyle and ultimately have better society and a better country.”