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Unions kick off campaign for election 2018 with call to arms

November 22, 2017

The South Australian union movement has today kicked off its election campaigning for March 2018, saying the unprecedented three-way contest means issues important to working people are at risk of being forgotten in the politics.

Speaking at a union conference in Adelaide today, SA Unions State Secretary Joe Szakacs says there has not been a more crucial election for working people in a generation.

"We know that people are facing a clear choice."

"There are the Liberals with the same aggressively anti-worker agenda as that being prosecuted by the Turnbull Government in Canberra, the Labor Government, which will come under intense scrutiny for their promises in the next four months, or the Xenophon Party."

"Mr Xenophon has voted against workers rights in the past - including an attempt to slash penalty rates - and he will have some work to do to prove whose side he's really on: will he side with big business and the banks or working people?"

Mr Szakacs today released the union movement's agenda for the election, calledFairer Workplaces and Stronger Communities, which outlines what working people will be campaigning for in the lead up to the next state election.

The document will be officially launched today at an Organising Conference which will bring together unionists from across the workforce as they plan their campaign to put workers' needs at the top of the political agenda in South Australia.

Unions will be fighting for the next State Government to:

  • Commit to making wage theft a criminal offence to deter employers who repeatedly and knowingly rip off their staff

  • Increase penalties for employers who cause workplace deaths

  • Advocate for and commit to penalty rates for South Australian workers

  • Fight any further roll-out of the Community Development Program which discriminates against Indigenous South Australians

  • Commit to no more privatisation of public services

  • Commit to maintaining public sector job numbers

  • Commit to full gender pay equity in the public sector

Mr Szakacs says the role of the trade union movement is to be part of the transformation of the State's economy to ensure that the principles of equality, fairness, justice and sustainability are not lost along the way.