Five reasons why Australian unions can defeat Abbott

 1.     We remember the Your Rights At Work campaign

Last time the Coalition launched a massive attack on working people’s rights, the union movement ran a three-year Your Rights at Work campaign to defeat these laws. This campaign was less than a decade ago, so it is still fresh in the collective memory of our movement. Hundreds of thousands union members participated in this campaign. We remember what it took to win. The current generation of union leaders know what it took to win. The memory of this campaign also helps overcome cynicism and defeatism which can hold back campaigns, especially at the beginning. Union activists believe it is possible to change a government because we have done it before.

YR@W National Day of Action 2006
YR@W National Day of Action 2006

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Tony Abbott’s Royal Commission: It’s all about WorkChoices

Tony Abbott and his new Coalition government have long planned a Royal Commission into the union movement.

This, of course, was not a policy that the Coalition took to the 2013 election.

Such a naked attack would have ‘scared the horses’, exposing what the Coalition has been desperate to hide—its plan to reinstate WorkChoices.

Instead, the LNP took to the election plans for a single judicial inquiry into allegations, now decades-old, about a ‘slush’ fund once run by officials from the Victorian branch of the Australian Workers Union. The Murdoch press hounded Prime Minister Gillard about her involvement long after the public lost interest in this issue and even after nothing substantive eventuated. Of course, this judicial inquiry was always intended as a stalking horse for a later and much wider inquiry. Continue reading