Saturday, August 7, 2010

Australian elections and Work for the dole

Our Unite Union was formed when National introduced work for the dole during the nineties. We don't officially have work for the dole now, but forcing beneficiaries to work part time in order to get our benefits can amount to the same thing, leaving us worse off when we have paid for childcare, transport or market rates for Housing Corporation rents.

StandUp is an organisation fighting for the rights of the unemployed in Australia. They write here about the injustices of work for the dole, and about how neither the Labour Party nor the Liberal Party are doing anything for beneficiaries.
Sound familiar?

StandUp News

Federal election: What about us?

We, the unemployed and unemployment in general have received a bit of attention during this election campaign. Gillard is satisfied with what she calls a “low rate of unemployment”, five percent! Five percent unemployed means hundreds of thousands forced into poverty, struggling to survive. Some have to work for this poverty. She wants more of the same and that’s bad. Work for the dole will stay and so will breaching and mutual obligation.

Yet if one listens to Tony Abbott things would be horrific. He has threatened compulsory work for the dole, no dole for those under thirty, a limited period on the dole and those under thirty to be forced to go to Western Australia and work in the mines.He also wants to attack those with disabilities. All these are horrendous but will he carry them out?

Tony Abbott is a notorious liar who likes shooting his mouth off. The Liberals qualify his statements by claiming that they are only considering these proposals. Talk is cheap and it is easy to talk about “compulsory work for the dole” but it is another to implement it. It requires infrastructure and costs money. But he would implement it if he could. There are serious consequences concerning cutting off the dole all those under thirty. Who knows what policies Tony will actually carry out if elected? What is clear is that things will be seriously bad.
Tony has a political purpose to what he is doing. He wants to encourage unemployed bashing. Serious attacks have been made against us. He wants to continue this offensive in a political environment where we are isolated. He will no doubt pressure Gillard into making us suffer more.

It is definitely Liberal Party policy to intensify the work test. It is definitely Liberal Party policy to expand work for the dole. This is horrendous.
StandUp believes everyone should have a job with a living wage. Until this is a right for all, no one should be breached and deprived of a bare existence. No one should be forced to work for peanuts.

Both of the major parties consider five percent the lowest possible rate of unemployment practical. They both want us to remain in poverty and be force us to do slave labour “work for the dole”. If we don’t obey we get cut off.

It’s time someone stood up for us. StandUp believes in a strong militant unemployed organisation to put our issues on the agenda. We need a party which supports unemployed and working people unconditionally.

Work for the dole.
It is tough to live on the pension which is $350 per week. It is even tougher for us to live on $250 per week depending on rent allowance. It is therefore grossly unfair that we are forced to live on this pittance and have to work for it. Yet that is the situation. Work for the dole is not recognised as proper work. It is not recognised as training. You are insured but there is no workers compensation. Surveys show that by doing work for the dole you are less likely to get a job rather than more likely. It does nothing for us.

We think that community centres, schools and hospitals, TAFEs and other institutions which utilise unemployed discount labour should instead employ us as full time workers paying proper wages. Work for the dole is an incentive for them not to employ.

They say that work for the dole does not displace paid workers. But if it were not for this slave labour scheme, Lidcombe TAFE would have to pay proper wages for landscapers and gardeners instead of taking advantage of almost free labour. Work for the dole is also part of the governments campaign to undermine the wages and conditions of employed workers.

StandUp! Is campaigning against work for the dole. We want your help. If you can tell us about your experiences, we will promote them. We know of some workers for the dole who have been injured due to poor supervision. The more this type of abuse is exposed, the more other such as the union movement will understand and join us in our struggle. We need a united campaign against work for the dole.
We oppose work for the dole, private job network agencies, breaching and being forced to live in poverty. Contact us phone 9516 4486


StandUp is an organisation of unemployed and others fighting attacks on us and the social security system. We believe everyone should have a living wage.
ere they comment on the Australian upcoming elections, and work for the dole.

1 comment:

president said...

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