Category Archives: Announcements

Dodgy Text Message from Providers. Ignore it!

Have you received this text message from you job agency?

A number of our members have reported they received it recently. We got advice about what it could be referring to and at the time of writing there is no scheduled change to come in at that time.

It seems that the job agencies are using this text message to bully people into accepting unfair job plans.

We encourage all members to report this behaviour to the department by calling the customer service line on 1800 805 260



Dial Dan Campaign Launched!

In 2016, there were over 53 million failed calls to Centrelink. The Centrelink Newstart line is engaged most of the day, which means it is almost impossible for unemployed workers to contact Centrelink to report their income, resolve a suspension, report a change in circumstance of simple ask a question.

This is outrageous. It is a clear indication of this government’s approach to the unemployed: they do not want to hear what we have to say.

As part of our Dial Dan campaign, we are encouraging everyone who can’t get through to Centrelink to call the office of the Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan to ask what his office is doing about this crisis and to transfer you through.

If enough of us call the office, the government might start to actually address this problem.

Mr. Tehan’s number is 1300 131 692.

The AUWU have also released a petition asking for Mr. Tehan to introduce an adequately staffed free call Centrelink number that offers calls backs to people in the queue. Other departments do this, so why can’t Centrelink? Please sign here.

Join our campaign for a contactable centrelink! Please share this campaign throughout your networks.

Media Release: Public Action Forum Against Welfare Crackdown

Media Release: AUWU bringing grassroots organisations together to tackle government’s welfare crackdown

What: Community Forum

When: Friday 2 March 2018

Time: Guests will be available for interview between 2pm-7pm. Forum is from 4pm-7pm.

Where: Victorian Trades Hall Council Building (54 Victoria St, Melbourne)

Available for interview:

  • People who need government policy to change–quickly–before they end up homeless
  • Owen Bennett, Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union
  • Father Bob Maguire
  • Nina Springle, Australian Greens
  • Lara Watson, First Nations Workers’ Alliance
  • Steve Jolly, Yarra City Council 

                  RSVP: Jeremy Poxon (Ph: 0404 089 575)

You’re invited to attend a forum of people and organisations frustrated with the federal government’s current approach to those who are trying to survive on inadequate welfare support. Together, we’ll develop community action plans to tackle important issues, like housing, social security, unemployment, and poverty.


The Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union is hosting a public action forum to unite local people, welfare advocates and civil society groups in a discussion for a more dignified social security system.

This comes as the government tries to introduce new legislation (the notorious “Welfare Reform” and “Cashless Debit Card” Bills) into parliament, which the AUWU and many others believe is designed to punish the poor and dismantle Australia’s social security system.

“Despite already now wielding one of the toughest compliance regimes in the OECD, the Coalition wants to enforce even more demands and punishments on welfare recipients,” AUWU President Owen Bennett said.

“Clearly, this government has no interest in easing the burden of poverty and unemployment–instead, through these Bills, it seeks to worsen it.”

Bennett believes it’s now up to advocacy organisations like the AUWU, as well as welfare recipients themselves, to lead the charge and fight back against the government’s punitive policies.

He hopes the AUWU’s public action forum will inspire and educate budding community activists to join the growing grassroots movement for welfare rights.

Steve Jolly (Yarra City Councillor), Lara Watson (First Nations Workers’ Alliance), and Father Bob Maguire are just some of the key speakers Bennett and the AUWU have assembled to address the crowd of activists and concerned welfare recipients.

After these speeches, several action groups will form to discuss strategies to tackle a range of issues facing social security recipients, including homelessness, cashless debit cards, drug testing, and Work for the Dole.

“We’ve assembled some wonderful leaders and advocates, who we’re hoping will work with local activists on new, positive campaigns that will help and empower social security recipients,” Bennett said.

Public Action Forum Against Welfare Crackdown

The government is introducing two bills into parliament designed to dismantle our social security system.

We need to fight back.

Come to our free Public Action forum at Trades Hall on March 2 (4pm – 7pm to join the struggle for a dignified social security system.

Speakers include:

Steve Jolly (Yarra City Councillor, Victorian Socialists)
Lisa Newman (CPSU, Deputy National President)
Sue Bolton (Moreland City Councillor, Socialist Alliance)
Father Bob Maguire
Nina Springle (The Greens)
Spike Chiappalone (Homeless Persons Union)
Lara Watson (First Nations Working Alliance)
Amanda Smith (The Say No Seven)

In the second half of the event, we will be forming Public Action Groups fighting a range of issues, including

-Work For the Dole
-Punitive employment services system
-Punitive Centrelink system
-Cashless Welfare

Leaflet Download:2xA5_PAF_frontandback (1)

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Moreland Council Accepts AUWU’s Newstart Motion – Join the Struggle!

Last Wednesday, the Moreland City Council passed AUWU’s motion stating that it will advocate publicly for an increase in Newstart to the Henderson Poverty Line.

With great support from Socialist Alliance Councillor Sue Bolton the motion was passed, with many councillors speaking passionately for the increase and noting the important role councils need to play.

Sue Bolton arguing for the motion at the Moreland City Council, 14/02/18

Sue Bolton arguing for the motion at the Moreland City Council, 14/02/18

Thanks to the great work of the Anti Poverty Network in SA, this now means that 11 councils across the country have advocated for this increase.

The AUWU’s goal is to have 100 councils agree to this motion by the end of the year.

If you would like to lobby your council, the AUWU has provided a step by step guide here.

Look forward to working with you!