Friday, 28 September 2007

Socialist Alliance launches charter to defend working people's rights

Illawarra Socialist Alliance launches charter to defend working people's rights

This Saturday the Illawarra branch of the Socialist Alliance is launching the Workers Rights Charter. In the face of unprecedented attacks on the rights of working people and the lack of genuine opposition from the ALP, the Socialist Alliance is calling on working people to unite so that we, the majority of Australians, can defend our rights through a political alternative to the major parties. Socialist Alliance candidate for Cunningham, Jess Moore and NSW Senate candidate Tim Dobson will be speaking at the event. Moore stated:

"We are told we live in a democracy, yet WorkChoices was introduced despite the fact that the vast majority of people in Australia oppose the legislation.

"WorkChoices has disproportionately impacted women workers. In the six months immediately following its introduction our wages fell to an average of $100 a week less than men. That's the same gap that existed back in 1978.

"And the ALP's IR policy is simply a watered down version of WorkChoices. They have back-pedalled on AWA's, do not guarantee the democratic right of workers to strike, do not fully reinstate unfair dismissal laws and the right of entry for union organisers to the workplace. They've even scape-goated and expelled union officials who've gone public with their objections to ALP policy.

"People keep saying to me - we just have to get rid of Howard. Indeed, a defeat of the Howard government would be a huge boost. However, the last thing we need is to give a blank cheque to the ALP which stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Liberals on all the essentials.

"The campaign to defend Our Rights at Work must continue until we've won all of them."

Tim Dobson added: "We need to defend all those forced onto AWA's who average 90 cents an hour less than those on collective agreements! We need to repeal all anti-union laws, defend the right to organise and fight for job security and equality at work!

"We need a party that's prepared to genuinely defend our interests."

Both candidates have committed to campaigning against the misnamed "WorkChoices" policies throughout the election campaign. They will be speaking at the launch of the Socialist Alliance Workers Rights Charter in the Illawarra, from 2pm on Saturday 29 September at 13 Girvan Crescent, Corrimal.

For interviews contact Jess Moore on 0416 232 349 or Tim Dobson on 0413 928 894

The charter is also available for download as a PDF here.

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