- Our Union
- Our Industries
Published: 8 Feb 2017
How often have you heard people say “I’m not interested in politics” yet irrespective of whether you are interested or not political decisions have an effect on your daily living.
When you are born you have to have a birth certificate, when you die you have to have a death certificate and if you want to drive a car you have to have a drivers licence, when you are of age you have to attend school, also when you purchase a beer or cigarettes, income tax is taken out of your pay, all these are political acts of parliament, in effect politics that have an effect on your lives.
If we consider politics in relation to trade unions and the effect on your wages and conditions ,and therefore the quality of life for you and your family, it may go some way to answering the question, why politics, who do they serve.
Employers through their organisations lobby governments to get laws passed that benefit their business in order for them to make the maximum profit. They maintain offices in Canberra that continually lobby MP,s to get changes that benefit their clients which invariably are big corporation many with international links..
Activity by unions in organising workers to achieve their demands come into conflict with the employers aim to make the maximum profit, their response is to get parliament to pass legislation to protect their profits.
Consider 'Work Choices' the result of legislation brought down by the Liberal Government. this was a political act that seriously attacked the ability of unions to act on behalf of its members. It brought in individual contracts which disadvantaged workers, some lost penalty rates and conditions and in some cases wages were cut in real terms. Here was a perfect example of how political legislation effected a workers living standards whether they believed in politics or not!
From the foregoing we can see how politics influence the quality of life for workers and their families. For a better future workers have to engage in politics
The business organisation of employers never cease in their use of political influence as instanced in this
report in the Australian Financial Review 16.1.17 under the headline
'Business is pressuring the Turnbull government to introduce changes to the Fair Work Act this year after voicing concerns over the slowing economy and the government’s failure to respond to the Productivity Commission's recommendations on workplace reform.'