December 1985 issue of Unemployement Action, paper of the Unemployment Workers Union in Launceston. Click to download PDF.
This weeks document is the December 1985 issue of Unemployment Action
, the newspaper of the Unemployed Workers Union in Launceston, Tasmania.
This document was located in the archives of the Melbourne Anarchist Club, along with a variety of material from the Unemployed Workers Union in Victoria, which I hope to share more of later.
The document highlights struggles around changes in the way the dole was paid, job search requirements, and interactions with a HR representative at local chain store. Of particular interest today is it’s focus on the first iteration of Work for the Dole in Australia and criticism of the now ubiquitous traineeship scheme.
Download a pdf of Unemployment Action, Dec 1985, here.
I’ve typed up one article from the issue below:
75,000 Unemployed to be Conscripted into Contract Labour ‘Work for Dole’ Scheme
The Launceston U.W.U. will continue to campaign against youth ‘Traineeships’, in their present form, until we are assured that they are not going to be used as a cheap labour scheme to reduce unemployment statistics without creating any jobs.
The campaign to date has consisted of gathering information and informing the community & trade unions of th reality behind the federal government’s public relations hype. We have campaigned publically through radio, T.V. and the newspapers, as well as attending conferences and meetings. As the truth has sunk in, the oppositions to traineeships has steadily mounted.
When the State A.L.P. announced their support for traineeships, we met with Wriedt and Michael Field (Emploument spokesperson) to outline our concerns. It was not a pleasant meeting as we found outselves being abused and lavelled as bludgers. We were shocked at the lack of information and forethought that had gone into adopting traineeships as part of their employment policy.
Attendance at the national youth workers conference in Orford in October also proved to be frustrating. The Dep’t of Employment & Industrial Relations had sent a top level bureaucrat, Chris O’Conner, to defuse any opposition from youth workers to traineeships. O’Conner visible related and moved out of prominence when these welfaries, unable to gain any consensus for or against traineeships, moved onto ‘safe’ ground of aiming to get themselves onto traineeship committees. As well he would, their representation on such committees merely adds credibility to traineeships and defuses opposition. Unemployed workers were sold out by the welfare sector yet again. They refused to even discuss what demands their representatives should make.
However, much has been achieved in the last 3 months. The welfaries are now running to maintain their credibility and a number of trade unions are taking up their responsibilities to safeguard their members and act with unemployed workers to counter this current attack
Concerned community groups and Unions, including the Liquour Trades, Miscellaneous workers, A.C.O.A. and the T.T.L.C. have published a leaflet about traineeships which has been distributed through CES offices and schools. Aimed at school-leavers, it gives some of the information that the Government left out of it’s glossy 6 page brochure.
A.C.O.A. members also voted to place bans on traineeships in nearly all C.E.S. offices in Tasmania until the Government agreed to;
* 100% additionality
* payment of full award wages.
Bans were also placed in C.E.S. offices in Sth Aust. and Q’land, until the national executive of the union ordered that the bans be removed.
The State Council of the metalworkers union has supported the U.W.U.’s objections to the traineeships and expressed it’s opposition to the Fed. Gov’t. And one of the key unions, the Shop Distributive & Allied Industries Employees Union has refused to have anything to do with traineeships, saying they are inappropriate for their industry.
BY Killer Buckley.
From the Archives is an irregular series of posts where I share primary source material I have located whilst researching the history of anarchism and related politics in Melbourne and Australia.