At the Australian Unemployment Union, we are fighting back against the government’s ongoing attacks on the unemployed and other welfare recipients.
To fight back against the Coalition’s heartless attacks on Australia’s most vulnerable, the Australian Unemployment Union is currently organising a grass-roots community campaign to oppose these inhumane policies.
Our plan is to make it politically impossible for the government to continue its assault on our welfare state.
Here is our three-step plan to fight back!
FIRST STEP: MYTH-BUSTING
First of all, the government’s vicious propaganda campaign blaming and shaming the unemployed must be exposed for the pack of lies that it is.
Currently in Australia, there are around 750,000 unemployed people, as well as roughly 900,000 people who are under-employed. For this group of 1.65 million who are actively seeking work, there are only 146,000 job vacancies to go around (May 2014 figure). Altogether, that means there is ten job seekers for every job vacancy
Put it this way: if every job vacancy was filled by an unemployed person tomorrow, there would still be more than 600,000 people who would remain unemployed.
It is essential to break the myths surround unemployment created by the governments vicious propaganda. It is clear that the vast majority of Unemployed people are not ‘job-snobs’ or ‘dole-bludgers’. The jobs are simply not there for most unemployed people to be ‘snobs’ about!
Despite what the Coalition government says, Australian society is not made up of ‘leaners’ who would prefer living on benefits (which for unemployed people is less than half of minimum wage!) than working. These unfortunate, unlucky people without steady employment should be looked after by the government on a living income, not punished and forced to live in poverty and even homelessness.
By fighting the negative stigma associated with collecting benefits, the Australian Unemployment Union are encouraging the unemployed (and sympathisers) to proudly unite together as members of the AUU to resist these vicious attacks.
SECOND STEP: DEMAND GOVERNMENT CREATE MORE JOBS
Debunking the myths the government has used to support its inhumane attack on welfare is only a small part of our plan. We must inform the Australian population of what is really happening. It is the government, not the unemployed, who are to blame for our country’s unemployment crisis.
Despite this obvious failure of the government to create enough jobs to go round, they continue to blame unemployed people for not getting work, calling them ‘job snobs’ and ‘dole-bludgers’ in the process. Now the government is going to make the lives of the unemployed and their families a living hell.
The Coalition Government even have the nerve to cut government staff despite the obvious need for more jobs in our country (see the pending staff cuts to the Department of Human Services).
We must educate Australian society about the reality of Australia’s ongoing unemployment crisis, which in August 2014 saw the unemployed rate reach a 12-year high of 6.4%.
THIRD STEP: UNITE UNEMPLOYED AND EMPLOYED
It is essential that the Australian Unemployment Union reach out to all sections of societies for support.While all sections are important to reach out to, we strongly believe that connecting with working Australians and the Trade Union movement is the most important. The common interests uniting the unemployed and the employed must be emphasised.Put simply, the more people who are unemployed, the more competition there are for jobs. This over time drives down wages and conditions. The more difficult the government makes it to be unemployed, the more desperate the unemployed will be to accept work; any work.It is because of the growing unemployed and the increasing attacks against them that today real wages are at their worst point in 17 years.
Consequently, we must fight the government’s propaganda campaign to divide the unemployed from the employed.
At the Australian Unemployment Union, we want to unite together unemployed and the employed in the common struggle for a humane Australian society. Once these two sections are united, there is no government that can stop us.
Seen from this perspective, it is clear that all attacks on the unemployed (insufficient rate of benefit, expanding welfare programs, cutting Newstart for under 30s etc etc.) are attacks on Australian society as a whole.
ITS TIME TO FIGHT BACK
To help us put our 3-step plan into action. We ask that you sign up to our volunteer program.
Currently we are handing out a leaflet informing unemployed workers of their rights under the new system. We encourage all people to print out the leaflet and hand it out in your local area, particularly outside Employment Service Providers. The leaflet is available here: Don’t be bullied by your job agent
If you are interested in join our volunteer campaign, please sign up below. We will then contact you and work out a specific volunteer program that suits your needs, skills and time constraints. Please do not hesitate to give us your ideas on how best to fight for a humane society.