Wednesday 22nd August 2007
Change is in the air but to make it happen, each of us needs to make a commitment to get involved, said John Robertson, Secretary of Unions NSW.
Public hospital nurses may not grasp how important the Your Rights at Work campaign is, said John Robertson in his address to Annual Conference.
‘You may not be affected if you are working in the public sector but if you have family working in the private sector they will be affected.
‘I have spent months on the road where I heard stories about everyday working people being hit by Lamp. And the stories are horrific.
People are losing their jobs, or losing pay and conditions. Workers and their families are being affected.
‘You try speaking out in rural areas, then try to get another job. You just won’t get one. No one wants to know you.
‘John Howard has not just imposed on us his unfair IR laws, he has imposed a culture in Australia where workers can be abused and you won’t get another job if you speak out. John Howard has reshaped Australia.
‘The Your Rights at Work campaign is about building a movement for change. It is succeeding because working families have got involved. It has shifted public opinion.
‘If you are worried about your kids or grandkids, you have a responsibility to get involved. You have to make a commitment to stand up and make a difference.
‘Each of us needs to make a commitment to get involved – it can be a sign in your front yard, one-to-one conversations, or join your local Your Rights at Work committee.
‘It is not enough to sit back and wait for someone else to do it.
‘John Howard is a desperate man. He will do anything to hold onto power. Last election he pulled out Tampa and threw kids overboard to win votes. We’ll wait and see what he’ll try this time.
‘But he can’t beat people getting out and having one-to-one conversations with members of their community.
‘Delegates, take away from this conference a commitment to making a difference, to do something to get rid of this rotten, miserable government.’