Hundreds of delegates to the Australian Workers Union national conference heard National Secretary Paddy Crumlin call the union movement to action, declaring this moment, "our time".
"This is our watch, this is our time to reshapre our communities and our economies," Crumlin said. "This is our time to bring businesses back to account. This is our time to make sure there is not another global financial crisis that happened because of corruption, negligence, and governments that were fellow travelers in that corruption. We are there in defining the future. You’re defining how the world will work over the next 20, 30, 40 years."
Crumlin made it clear that the outcome of the call to action should be. "The right to secure employment. The right to a safe job. The right to retire to retire with decency and dignity and to have money when we go forward so we’re not living on poverty," he said.
Crumlin also reiterated the MUA's determination to work with the AWU in alliances, especially as part of the union-wide movement to win another term for the Labour government. He slammed the dishonest attack by the Coalition and its allies. "For the Liberals to come back with the duplicity and vitriol and their mates in the press, the Murdoch press in particular, that dissemble and are known worldwide as cheats, and crooks and liars, for them to mount an editorially based criticsm of the trade union movement is the ultimate in hypocrisy," he said.
With the theme of the conference underscoring the AWU as "A Union That Makes Things," Crumlin voiced support for the focus on manufacturing. "We’re in manufacturing in this country. That’s our sovereign wealth, that’s jobs, that’s added value," he said. "It could be the brown stacks or it can be the new green jobs."