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Issue #1696      August 5, 2015

Unemployment in Australian 2015

Two million (plus) too many

Last Saturday (August 1) at 1.30pm at Granville the Sydney Branch of the newly formed Australian Unemployment Union invited Nick Southall, Warren Smith and Victor Quirk to address an open meeting.

Warren Smith, Nick Southall and Victor Quirk.
Warren Smith, Nick Southall and Victor Quirk.

Outlining how statistics selectively inform a 6.8% (835,000) official unemployment rate in the face of a demonstrable 2 million plus Australians wanting work today, Victor from CofFEE at Newcastle University, pointed to the public sector cuts of the 1970s, the 1986 “recession we had to have”, and the casualisation of much of the labour market to make Australia today second only to the US in wealth concentration in the world.

Noting that capitalist accumulation occurs only because of the existence of a pool of unemployed, Warren from the Maritime Union of Australia welcomed an independent union of unemployed people to the class struggle.

The tale of the Wollongong Out of Work (WOW) was critically presented by a long term activist of the 1980s and early 1990s, Nick Southall. Nick described a democratically active union educating its members to be activists in a shared struggle for financial survival; one which whenever possible was an on- the-ground, in person, expression of solidarity with members of other unions.

The Sydney Australian Unemployment Union will meet again this Saturday at NUW Building (11am) to consider the immense amount of information and possible action the forum presented.

Next article – Say NO to TPP – Draft Letter to Trade Minister on TPP

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