March 4 our living standards

Thousands of Australians will rally around the country in a National Day of Action today, including in Brisbane, to protest against the Liberal Government’s attack on our living standards and rights at work.

Rallies will be held in Townsville, Mackay, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Hobart, Launceston, Darwin and Tennant Creek.

Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams said Queenslanders will not stand by while the Liberal Government and employers go after wages, conditions and rights at work.

“The Coalition Government is using the Productivity Commission inquiry into rights at work in an attempt to cut penalty rates, abolish the minimum wage, bring back unfair individual contracts and swing even more power to the employers,” said Mr Battams.

“The community will not stand by while the Coalition takes Australia in the wrong direction.”

“Australians did not vote for cuts to Medicare, $100,000 university degrees, slashing the public sector, abolishing the minimum wage, cuts to penalty rates and rights at work.

“In Queensland we’ve just thrown out a Liberal National state government that attacked living standards and broke its promises. Today we will celebrate that victory and let the Abbott government know it is now on notice,” he said.

“We will not stand by while the federal Coalition destroys the rights and protections the union movement and working Australians have built up over generations, and which shape the sort of society we are.

 “Visiting the doctor or going to uni should not depend on the size of your bank balance.

“All Australians have the right to a secure job with a decent wage and we will not leave the next generation with fewer rights than we have.”

Mr Battams said unions were determined to kick the Coalition out at the next election.

“We made our voices heard in the Queensland and Victorian elections with one-term Coalition Governments and we can do it again with the Federal Liberal Government.”

“Instead of targeting those who can least afford it with unfair cuts – the federal Government needs to start creating jobs and investing in health, education, skills and training.

“The reality is Australians know there is no budget crisis and do not believe the budget must be balanced at the expense of universal health care, access to education, decent jobs and support for the vulnerable in our society.”

“You can’t cut your way to economic growth and it’s time the Abbott Government realised that and started delivering policies that benefit the whole community - not just big business and the wealthy.”

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