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RCSA’s CEO slams ACTU’s misleading campaign as a membership drive

CHARLES Cameron has slammed ACTU’s Secretary Sally McManus address at the National Press Club today as a misleading ploy to increase union membership.

Billed by McManus as the ‘most important speech in a generation,’ Cameron said her comments on work security showed absolutely no basis in fact, making the speech more like ‘one of the most baseless furphies purported in a generation.’

“Not once did McManus cite evidence to support claims around job security,” Cameron said. “Instead she repeated sweeping claims that ‘insecure work is spreading,’ ‘casual work is growing,’ ‘labour-hire work is growing’ and that insecurity of work has become a ‘national crisis.’

“The facts simply do not support any of these claims. Jeff Borland from the University of Melbourne in his July 2017 Labour Market snapshot found there is:

  • No evidence to support claims of increased job insecurity

  • Since the early 1980s there has been an increase in proportion of workers in long duration jobs (10 yrs +) and decrease in proportion of workers in short duration jobs (less than 12 months)

  • The proportion of people working in Labour Hire has decreased slightly since the early 2000s.

  • Over the past 15 years there has been a slight decline in the proportion of workers who expect to lose their job due to business closure / downsizing or a seasonal or temporary job finishing.”

“Her outrageous singling out of the labour hire sector as a driver of this fabricated job security crisis is particularly jarring given that not only has the proportion of people working in labour hire has decreased over the past 20 years, but the Productivity Commission itself estimates that labour hire, as a sector, accounts for a tiny 1.8 per cent of employed persons,” he said.

RCSA represents a large number of labour hire businesses. Cameron said the ACTU is actively throwing the industry under the bus in an attempt to boost its own declining numbers.

“Unions don’t like labour hire because it makes it harder to recruit and organise membership,” Cameron said. “Unions blame labour hire for declining membership levels rather than the fact that most Australians are happy to work flexibly and don’t see union membership as personally relevant or valuable.

“The facts are that casual employment as a percentage of the workforce hasn’t increased in 20 years and labour hire work has decreased in the past 20 years with only one in 50 employees working in this way,” he said.

“It is simply irresponsible of McManus and the ACTU to stir up fear among Australian workers with misleading and damaging stories that are simply not true, especially when the only purpose of promoting these falsities is to boost its own membership.

“Our members are proud of how they help jobseekers find work when others won’t give them a go. They are proud of how they assist working mothers with flexible work options so they can balance caring with earning.

“They are proud of how they help growing Australian businesses take a risk and create opportunities that grow our economy,” he said. “Our industry needs confidence and stability, not fear and misinformation.”

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