More than 250,000 workers
and their families rallied in capital cities and regional towns across
Australia on November 30 to protest against the "Workchoices"
laws which have torn up decades of established rights for workers and
The legislation introduced by the right-wing government of Prime
Minister John Howard drastically curtails the collective rights of workers
in Australia and severely penalises trade unions for undertaking industrial
action. In particular the new legislation has destroyed independent industrial
dispute resolution, ripped up unfair dismissal protections and totally
undermined union rights to collective bargaining.
The impact of the laws have been profound, with widespread opposition
reflected in the large rallies across Australia. IUF affiliates the Australian
Workers' Union (AWU), the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU),
the National Union of Workers (NUW) and the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous
Workers' Union (LHMU) were all present at the rallies across Australia.
These unions along with all unions in Australia, through their national
centre the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) will continue to
mobilise members and the wider community in the coming year to campaign
for a new government which respects and represents workers' rights.
More information on the campaign can be found here.