The trade union movement is a movement built on protest.
Workplace rights and conditions that many Australians take for granted today – including equal pay, superannuation and workplace safety laws – were won because the union movement protested for them.
The Hodgman Liberal Government’s latest anti-protest laws threaten the rights of community members to protest for positive change at a time when the Government is intent on silencing its critics, of which there are many.
These laws will also capture legitimate union activity, like nurses protesting about safe staffing levels or workers who have had to stop work on site because their workplace was unsafe.
It goes without saying that we have never supported action that endangers the health and safety of our members.
But these laws aren’t really about workers.
If the Tasmanian Liberals really cared about workers, they’d do something about wage theft, or job security, or low wages. They would make sure their employees had a safe workplace by doing things like fixing the dangerous ramping situation at our public hospitals.
The only time the Hodgman Liberal Government cares about workers is when they’re using them as cover for their political agenda, like they are here.
The Tasmanian union movement have opposed these laws, in their various forms, since they were first proposed in 2014.
We urge the Government to withdraw these laws, and if they don’t, we need the Legislative Council to reject them.