The following statement by Spirit of Eureka was distributed at May Day rallies throughout the country.
1 May, 2021
Workers’ struggle must go beyond parliament!
What is the situation that workers find themselves on May Day 2021? It is one of desperation! Before the pandemic the economy was already in a slump, which Covid-19 accelerated into a crash.
• Millions lost jobs
• Millions lost hours and had their incomes cut
• Many used-up their savings and paid leave
• 3.3 million people spent their super
• Many forced onto charities to survive
The Morrison Government was forced into implementing JobKeeper and JobSeeker primarily to keep business afloat during the pandemic/ economic crisis. Now the Coalition Government has cancelled JobKeeper and slashed JobSeeker payments. Millions of workers now face insecurity, homelessness and destitution. To add insult to injury the Coalition, on behalf of big business, is trashing the hard won workplace rights, pay and conditions.
A decent Australian economy would guarantee workers’ rights; safe permanent jobs; sustainable green industries; manufacturing enterprises that stay in the country; and public ownership of key industries. The Coalition openly opposes workers and their unions, whilst Labor pretends to represent them and fears mobilising workers for a real fightback. Australia’s working-class can’t rely on parliament and main political parties to win any gains. There is a crying need for an Independent Working Class Agenda, where workers organise and mobilise themselves nationally and collectively to fight back. Campaigning around employment, housing, health, education, childcare and transport are important issues for working people. It’s Time for workers to win!
The essence of a republic is much more than the election of a head of state and the wording of the Constitution. A truly independent and democratic Australian republic would own and control its mineral, water and maritime resources through public ownership rather than the current mob of greedy foreign and local monopoly corporations. The wealth of Australia could then be used to benefit all the people, and to repair and protect our unique environment. A truly independent and democratic Australian republic would reject all big power domination, including the current economic, political and military domination of USA or the trade leverage of China. It would end the aggressive US alliance and close all their military bases in Australia (including Pine Gap and in Darwin) and end our involvement in US imperialist wars and interfering in other countries’ affairs.. An independent foreign policy would promote national sovereignty of all countries and emphasise participation in co-operative international efforts to promote just peace, security, prosperity and observance of human rights and labour standards, especially in the Indo-Pacific regions.
Fight for Women’s Rights
Women make up more than 50% of Australia’s population. We produce society’s goods and services, and in large numbers are concentrated in the front lines of essential services – in hospitals, health and medical services, aged care and disability services, early childhood educators, community services. Women carry the main weight of unpaid domestic work and caring for families. We are concentrated in precarious and casual jobs across all industries where wages and incomes are generally low. Covid Pandemic has revealed the vital position women occupy in keeping the society functioning. Women’s unpaid work at home and in paid employment enables big business to extract mega profits for themselves from our labour. Growing numbers of women are living in poverty, long term unemployment and homelessness. Sexual harassment, degradation and violence against women continues unabated and the profit-driven capitalist culture commodifies women as sex objects, domestic servants and subservient to men. For more than 120 years working women have waged militant struggles for equal rights and justice. We continue this long struggle and join with all people fighting for a society that respects and upholds the rights of all people, and ends exploitation.
Put the heat on the fossil fuel profiteers!
Apart from a small number of self-interested fossil-fuel investors and other corporate interests who benefit from the exploitation of the environment, the great majority of the Australian people want the health of our environment in general and climate change in particular, to be taken very seriously.
Gas and oil workers know their industries are on the way out – but they don’t want to be left in the lurch by corporate owners and cynical governments. They want a just transition to secure local jobs.
Big business promotes the illusion that foreign corporation-dominated and short-term profit-focused capitalism can meet the environmental challenge it itself has created. The old lie “there is no alternative” is constantly spouted by the corporate media and pollies alike.
The ways out of this trap has become clearer – renewables and other solutions under people’s control, particularly local people (for instance the lock-the gate movement against fracking, and promotion of energy self-sufficiency from small towns to city suburbs). Like so often in history this requires government support and investment – a long way from the pro-business policies both major political parties overwhelmingly follow.