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Issue #1788      August 2, 2017

Wage theft

A successful Politics in the Pub discussion on wage theft was held on Thursday, July 13, in Perth, WA.

Around 40 people from diverse backgrounds gathered to listen to guest speakers Holly Dawson, (hospitality worker and uni student and convenor of the CUDL), myself (CFMEU WA branch President) and George Johnston (RTBU organiser). The speakers shared their views and experiences on the business model which derives from the essence of capitalism, “Wage Theft”.

Unions featured highly in the ensuing discussions on how everyone in society has benefited from the gains fought for by workers and their unions over 150 years of struggle. People drew on history lessons, the importance of younger people hearing the stories and a call was made for all workers to join their unions.

By the end of the evening some attendees felt convinced of the benefits of being organised in the collective and the protection and representation by unions and made a commitment to sign up to their respective unions.

Following on from the lively discussion, some trade unionists who attended the recent ACTU NextGen17 Conference made a suggestion that the next politics in the Pub should be in the context of the ACTU campaign “Change the Rules” but also Change the System.

There was overwhelming support in the room for ACTU Secretary Sally McManus as a very inspirational leader and essential for the biggest existential challenge for the trade union movement today. A call was made to issue an invitation to UnionsWA leadership and other union delegates to address Politics in the Pub in the very near future in Perth.

Those gathered agreed the crucial task for the survival of the trade union movement and the defence of our wages and conditions is that all workers must join their respective unions. This is now being planned for late August.

Next article – Irony is dead in the US

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