Daicy Olaya, a resident of Fairfield for 18 years, explained why she decided to stand as a candidate for Socialist Alliance in the March 26 NSW elections.
“Politicians from both major parties have failed miserably in representing the interests of migrants and women here in New South Wales,” she said.
“That is why, as a woman migrant from Colombia, who has worked in the textile and cleaning industries, I have decided to stand as the Socialist Alliance candidate for Fairfield in the coming NSW state elections."
Olaya arrived in Australia in 1989, and her life experience is a clear example of how the economic rationalist policies of Labor and Liberal governments have negatively affected the lives of millions.
For 16 years, Olaya was a dedicated worker at Pacific Brands, the producer of iconic brands such as Bonds, Hard Yakka and Berlei. Despite this — and the fact that Pacific Brands received $17 million in subsidies between 2007 and 2009 — Olaya, and about 2000, mostly migrant women workers, were left without a job in 2009, when Pacific Brands decided to close shop and move overseas.
Rather than protecting these jobs or providing adequate re-training, the Federal and NSW government failed Pacific Brands workers.
“The closure of Pacific Brands is just one example of how governments and corporate policies that prioritise profits over people are devastating the lives of millions of working families,” she said.
“Under Kristina Keneally and parliamentarians like Joe Tripodi, all the ALP has done has been to defend the interests of their friends in the corporate world, while ordinary people suffer the consequences.
“The latest example of this is the sell-off of our electricity retailers, handed over to these profit-hungry corporations. Once again, it is working people who are already paying the cost for this outrageous decision, made against the wish of the majority of the population.
“I believe the government should instead be returning such vital services into public hands, at the same time as extending the public sector. For instance, why should the people of Fairfield be left at the mercy of a private company when it comes to buses? We need a dramatically improved service, and this will only come about through government investment in public transport."
Olaya added: “Moreover, the government needs to dramatically expand and improve education and training services in the area, particularly for women and migrants. We are sick of being relegated to the lowest paid jobs with the worst conditions. We want real jobs, and for that we need real training!
“That is why I am supporting the five-point plan proposed by the NSW Teachers Federation for the TAFE sector which includes guaranteeing funding to TAFE, no contracting out of TAFE services to the private sector, and ensuring affordable access to a TAFE education for all."
[For more information contact Federico Fuentes on 0412 556 527.]