ACT Govt Stimulus must come with guarantees for workers

UnionsACT has today called on the ACT Government to ensure any stimulus payments to businesses come with job security guarantees for working Canberrans.

Past experience in Australia and overseas during financial shocks shows the central importance of protecting job security in order to reduce the length and severity of economic downturns.

Without a requirement to pass on stimulus payments to workers, or requirements to guarantee job security, businesses are more likely to hoard government payments or tax cuts rather than invest it in the community.

UnionsACT is urging the ACT Government to ensure businesses that receive financial support from taxpayers must have a mutual obligation to guarantee job security for their employees.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, Secretary of UnionsACT:

“Too often at times of financial uncertainty, business executives decide to hoard cash at the expense of job security for their employees.

“We are already seeing business lobby groups calling for minimum wages to be frozen, while demanding a publicly funded bail-out.

“This is not only very economically destructive in the short term, but worsens the long-term rebuilding after a crisis ends.

“At a time of economic shock, it is working people and their communities who face the harshest impacts.

“There must be strong requirements on businesses that receive stimulus payments that guarantee job security for Canberran workers.

“This is especially the case when Federally the Liberal Government is trying to push vulnerable workers onto Newstart, which would worsen poverty and economic distress.

“The ACT Government has shown in the past that it is prepared to prioritise secure local jobs, and working people are looking for leadership from our ACT political leaders again.”

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