A strong delegation of ASU officials attended the recent ACTU Congress on 17th & 18th July.
The ACTU Congress is the largest and most important gathering of Australian Unions and it sets the ACTU agenda for the following three years.
Delegates debated and voted on policies regarding the workplace, rights and campaigns to improve wages, conditions and the standard of living for Australian workers and their families.
ASU Delegate wins award!
NSW ASU delegate Sam Parker won the ACTU Jennie George Award for an outstanding contribution by a woman to our movement.
ASU Member Dr John Falzon receives standing ovation!
One of the speakers during conference was ASU member Dr John Falzon.
Dr John Falzon, Chief Executive of the St Vincent Paul Society National Council of Australia. He has written and spoken widely on the structural causes of inequality in Australia and the collective struggle for social justice and is a regular media commentator.
Most ASU delegates have identified his speech as one of the highlights from Congress. Watch for yourself here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyUvyEMiSrA&feature=youtu.be
There are many worthy quotes from his speech, here are just a few:
- “I have been around long enough and I have listened hard, but I am yet to hear the sound of the wealth trickling down. – But what I do hear is the sound of the excluded still waiting.”
- “Solidarity is the tenderness of the people and it is our not so secret weapon in the face of neo-liberalism”
- “That’s why the proponents of neo-liberalism hate the union movement and I stand here proud to be a rank and file member of the Australian Services Union --- because what does the union movement do – Instead of standing still for those with the sticks – the union movement stands up collectively against those with sticks.”
- “That’s why we see such vicious inventions as the ABCC and the ROC.”
- “Those that break this nations heart are not those who break unjust laws. Those that break this nations heart are those who make unjust laws.”
- “Marching under the guiding stars of struggle and hope, good legislation comes only from the collective struggle...”
- “And the union movement is hope organised”
- “Inequality is not the measure of our freedom, inequality is the measure of our shame.”
- “The role of good government is to achieve collectively the dreams of the many rather than pandering the demands of the wealthy few.”
- “The only way to address the stores of personal pain is through collective action. The only way to achieve change is united together those that are excluded and those that are exploited – it is time.”
Dr John Falzon has recently nominated for pre-selection to take on the new federal seat of Canberra.