These days, it's common to downplay the importance of unions and over-generalise issues such as corruption. Teddy Sea explains how unions have changed society for the better.
FOR MOST of history, those with power and money ran the show, used and abused the workers and became ridiculously wealthy. That was their right. It was the 'born to rule' mentality. Think about kings and castles and the robber barons. Not a good time to be a worker. Children were fodder and completely expendable.
So workers decided to unite to fight for fair conditions.
Trade unions changed the modern world for the better. Inevitably the big end of town did their best to stop the unionisation of their workforce, because it was affecting their profits.
Profits first … people last.
The Labor Party grew from the union movement and, because we're a democracy, workers were able to vote in Labor governments.
The 70s was a boom time for workers in Australia, with unions working with government to achieve good and fair working conditions for all.
Some might ask: 'What have the unions ever done for us?'
Since then, the media have relentlessly taken every chance to hound, vilify and run down our unions.
Because if they weaken our unions, they weaken our power to save jobs and keep the conditions we fought hard for. The bosses can then save money. They need it more than us.