A generation of young Australians won’t know what it is like to have a sick day or a paid holiday, ACTU boss Sally McManus is warning, as unions seek to overhaul the nation’s workplace laws.
Australia’s peak union body yesterday launched its largest advertising campaign in a decade, calling for pay increases for workers and government restrictions on casual employment.
Ms McManus says Australia faces a ‘‘crisis’’ of record low wages growth paired with unrestricted causal employment.
‘‘We are going to see a whole generation of young people who will not even know what it’s like to have a sick day or a paid holiday,’’ she said.
‘‘We need fair restrictions on casual employment and on insecure work like labour hire.’’
The Australian Council for Trade Unions will run a two month-long campaign, the largest it says since WorkChoices, although it will not confirm how much it will cost.
Ms McManus said the union would announce tomorrow its demand for an increase to the minimum wage across Australia.
‘‘Australians deserve more secure jobs and fair pay,’’ she said.
‘‘Big business in our country now has too much power.’’
Ms McManus would not release a dollar figure for the campaign, but said the ACTU was spending enough to ensure every Australian saw it more than once.
‘‘We may just keep spending more money in order to keep these adds going,’’ she said.
The campaign will include television ads — featuring paid actors — as well as newspaper, radio, online and billboard advertising.