Workers’ voice silenced by big business
In a shameful move, major Australian advertising business APN Outdoor has rejected an Australian Unions advertisement from appearing on their billboards.
The advertisements purchased by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) were in support of our Change The Rules campaign to address Australia’s broken industrial rules.
The advertising was to highlight the inequity suffered by workers and the unfair balance of power held by employers and big business.
Issues canvassed by the proposed ads were to include wage stagnation, income inequality and the increasing prevalence of insecure and casualised work.
The ACTU said the ads were initially approved and then rejected at last minute by APN Outdoor on the basis they were “too negative”.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said if these messages were offensive to businesses such as APN Outdoor, they were more than empowered to address the issues.
“The truth is that employers and big business have played a significant role in the issues of wage stagnation and insecure work that many Australian workers now face,” Mr Burke said.
“If employers are so uncomfortable with these issues being brought to light, they have ample opportunity to work with unions to raise wages and improve working conditions.
Change The Rules campaign material similar to that rejected by APN Outdoor
Mr Burke said the unfortunate fact was workers’ rights had been eroded over time due to the unfair nature of our industrial rules.
“The Change The Rules campaign is a driving force to address the broken state of Australia’s industrial rules and improve workers’ lives,” Mr Burke said.
“Strong wages and conditions for workers are central to a fair and democratic society – a message any advertiser should readily share and support."
Mr Burke said our industrial rules provide too much power to employers, which has been a key factor in low wage growth and the erosion of working conditions.
“It is far too easy for employers to avoid the collective bargaining process – currently the principal way in which workers win pay rises and enhance conditions – and even cancel existing collective agreements, forcing workers onto safety-net Award conditions.”
APN Outdoor is one of the country’s largest advertisers with more than 36,000 advertising sites across Australia and New Zealand.
Read more about the Change The Rules campaign at www.changetherules.org.au