This new form of slavery

The IEU Executive has voted to join the First Nations Workers Alliance. The Alliance has formed under the auspices of the ACTU and is dedicated to overturning the Community Development Program. The extract below is from the FNWA’s website:

“All Australians deserve the opportunity to have a good, steady job and the dignity of work. The Turnbull Government’s Community Development Program (CDP) is depriving tens of thousands of people of that opportunity. It’s punitive, heavy handed and racially discriminatory and the Union movement is determined to see it removed.”

The problem

CDP workers are not actually classified as workers. They get well below the minimum wage (the dole pays $11.60/hour or $290/week) for working for 25 hours a week for non profit and now for profit businesses.

They are not covered by the Fair Work Act, they don’t have Federal OHS protections or workers compensation and they can’t take annual leave, sick leave or carer’s leave.

Those under the CDP are forced to work up to three times longer than city based jobseekers to receive welfare payments. Since July 2015, less than 3500 Indigenous participants found full time or part time work lasting six months or more.

CDP workers have 70 times the financial penalties imposed upon them than non remote dole workers.

Fines for missing activities under CDP, which coverers a tiny fraction of the population, account for more than half the total penalties across the entire welfare system.

Individuals can also join the alliance. Check out

Marilyn Jervis Convenor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee