Newly-elected ACTU secretary, Sally McManus, has blasted "corporate greed" and pledged to win major changes to workplace laws, which will include pushing for stronger action from future Labor governments.
The AWU kicks off its biennial conference today, with new national secretary Daniel Walton seeking to revive falling membership and protect jobs in key industry segments rather than pursue mergers with other unions. Meanwhile, the FWC has been questioning the "integrity" of the union’s reported membership numbers for the five years to 2014.
More than 27% of public administration, defence, community services and utility workers belong to a union compared with less than 10% in mining and construction, while those of retirement age are significantly more likely to be members than those under 25, according to new research.
One of the architects of the $2.1 trillion industry super fund movement, Garry Weaven, has warned that it must remain true to its roots and maintain its "members first" ethos even though it increasingly run by financial services professionals.
Over the next 15 years the nation should abolish the FWC and modern awards, set the minimum wage "as low as is politically feasible" and let the welfare system top up earnings, according to a new paper from an influential free market think tank.