Unions have resolved to campaign in workplaces around Australia to help workers throughout the country understand the facts about how a price on carbon will impact upon them.
A meeting of unions in Melbourne has approved an ongoing and widespread campaign which will involve visiting as many workers as possible to help them to absorb the effects of the plan.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said unions were committed to removing the politics from the carbon price package so workers could understand clearly how the price on carbon would work, and what it would mean to them.
Ms Kearney said that as a result of negotiations with the Government, unions had secured commitments to household financial assistance, protection of jobs, and funding for investment in new clean energy industries and jobs.
“The price on carbon will pass through Parliament,” Ms Kearney said. “That is the reality, and unions’ interest is to ensure the best outcome for Australian workers, so that they can have a good job with decent pay and conditions,” Ms Kearney said.
“Australian workers deserve an opportunity to sort the fact from the fiction in this debate.
“Now that unions have had a chance to fully absorb the carbon price package, we will begin visiting as many workplaces around the country to ensure we can speak directly with workers.
“We will work to provide reassurance to those workers in industries most affected by a price on carbon. Unions will not sugar coat this; we will explain the reality, but we will do it in a calm and rational way, unlike the scare campaigns which have been conducted around the country throughout the year.”
Ms Kearney said unions had taken a clear position at the start of climate change negotiations to stand up for working people, not only those in manufacturing and heavy industry, but from all walks of life.
She said the ACTU would kick off its education campaign with an information package to be distributed within workplaces throughout Australia in coming days.
“The information kit for workers will explain what a carbon price will mean for them, if it will impact their hip pocket and their jobs. Overall, the package has addressed union concerns about household costs, protection of existing jobs, and investment in new job-creating technologies and with the facts now on the table, it is clear that doomsday predictions about jobs and the impact on living costs are untrue.
“However, unions will continue to work hard to highlight outstanding concerns about the carbon price package because we are committed to ensuring all Australians have access to a decent job and that industries can manage any required changes.”
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