For Immediate Release Maritime Union Calls for Immediate Action to Support Workers through COVID Crisis

The Morrison Government’s vaccine-rollout disaster along with the Berejiklian Governments failure to act swiftly in response to the Delta COVID breakout has led to Sydney’s most vulnerable communities exposed to sickness and poverty.

Paul Keating, Secretary of the Sydney Branch of the Maritime Division of the CFMMEU said “the Morrison and Berejiklian governments support payments are completely deficient. $600 a week is effectively condemning Australian families to poverty. Even worse, large numbers of working class people won’t even have access to this payment at all. Workers in precarious and casual employment, as well as workers who supplement their parenting and unemployment welfare payments with additional work will receive nothing.”

“Support payments should be no less than the minimum wage for all workers, including those on welfare payments. Workers forced into lockdown, unable to work, should not be forced to use their accrued entitlements. COVID Leave, should be separate from and additional to ordinary leave, and should be provided by all employers” said Mr Keating.

“We are living through a pandemic crisis, and our priority should be looking our communities so we get through this safely and with our livelihoods intact. There must be a moratorium on evictions, and on bank home foreclosures. Workers cannot be forced to pay for the failings of the Morrison and Berejiklian Governments. If there is a revenue problem, we can begin fixing that by levying higher taxes on the super-rich, whose profits have skyrocketed through the pandemic” said Mr. Keating.

Mr Keating said “during this whole pandemic the Berejiklian government has been more concerned with pandering to big business, than protecting communities. The chronic mismanagement of this crisis has resulted in a longer, more severe lockdowns, and greater hardship.”

“Like everything under this Government, the most vulnerable in our society are being asked to shoulder the greatest burden.” said Mr. Keating.

“This is twin failing. The Morrison Government completely failed to deliver an effective, timely vaccine program, even though we were probably the best placed country in the world to do just that. Now that the Australian people are facing the consequences of inaction – large numbers of people in protracted lockdowns – the Federal Government is failing to provide the support that working people need to get through this safely.”

For Comment:

MUA Sydney Branch Secretary Paul Keating: 0434 290 443

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.