Last week, The AMWU held it's National Conference in Sydney. One of the major resolutions to come out of this conference was "a new union". This resolution was unanimously endorsed in a push to reaffirm our union's commitment to moving forward as one voice, building bigger capacity, strength and bargaining capacity in light of likely amalgamations in the near future.
Many important resolutions were discussed and passed throughout the conference. Here is just a small snap shot into some of the topics on this year's agenda:
Industry and economic policies:
- New deal on trade - calling for a new deal on trade that includes industry, union and community consultation during negotiations and assessment of social, economic, regional and environmental impacts.
- Industry Policy architecture - calls for investment into institutional architecture that translates policy goals into real world outcomes.
- Climate and renewable energy - calls for a reinvigorated push towards a renewable energy economy that supports, transitions and retrains affected workers.
- Skills training and apprenticeships - calls for the industrial strategy to lead the way in the industry development and skills debate, defend and enhance the rights of apprentices and trainees, engage in industrial and political campaign activity that support apprentices and trainees.
- Gender equality in manufacturing - calls for leadership to meet with industry groups to address the imbalance in gender ratio in manufacturing, build workplace culture of equality and respect and encourage participation and skill development in women.
Better industrial rights for union members:
- Wages conditions and the right of union representation - build a new industrial framework that strengthens worker safety nets, increase bargaining capacity, provides protections for insecure work, and gives rights to union membership, representation and industrial action.
- Bargaining - review, resource, coordinate and promote the bargaining agenda and engage in political campaign activities that deliver better protections and opportunities for workers.
- Stronger protections for union activity - calls for for changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 to better protect workers who stand up for their rights at work.
- Penalty rates - affirming our commitment to fighting for and defending penalty rates,
- Portable entitlements - calls for the commonwealth government to legislate a uniform minimum long service leave standard.
- ABCC - condemning the existence of the ABCC and FWBC and calls for a genuinely independent body to investigate corruption.
- Security or employee entitlements - building support for legislative amendment to class employees as a 'first line creditor' to enable entitlements to be paid in full particularly when voluntary administration insolvency and/or liquidation takes place.
- Precarious employment - reaffirms continuing to and building on campaigns for secure employment to ensure the future of the Australian workforce.
- Health and Safety/workers comp - calls for use of all means available to counter strategies of insurers and employers discriminating against injured/ill workers.
- Domestic and family violence - resolves that Domestic and family violence is unacceptable and the AMWU shall build partnerships towards education, establishing workplace initiatives, support and assistance services.
- Workers with disabilities - establish a 'Disability Steering Committee' to develop a response to matter raised by the ACTU in relation to workers with disabilities.
- Retirement age - campaign for the repeal of the current retirement age of 67 and a reversions to the previous retirement age of 65 years.
- Superannuation - calls on the AMWU to continue campaigning around superannuation rights of members.
- Ageing population - calls on the RMD to accelerate its work with elderly organisations to ensure a united campaign to bring justice and dignity to the nation's elderly.
- Women and the AMWU - calls on commitment to identify and properly resource recruitment and organising opportunities for women workers, identify and develop participation opportunities and make changes to current AMWU structures to increase womens participation in union activities.
Congratulations to the QLD/NT delegation who made a huge contribution to this year's conference.
For more information about National Conference, please get in contact with your local workplace delegate or organiser.