Opposition to SA budget grows

October 15, 2010
Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney

The campaign against South Australian Labor treasurer Kevin Foley's latest budget is gathering strength.

The second rally protesting against the wide-ranging budget cuts — particularly to the public sector — organised by SA Unions, attracted up to 10,000 people on 14 October. Members of the Legislative Assembly were invited to speak, including independents, the Liberal Party and Family First. The campaign has called on the Upper House MPs to block the legislation.

Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney attended the rally. Kearney has likened Premier Mike Rann's industrial relations tactics to those of former Liberal/National Coalition prime minister John Howard.

Public sector workers’ conditions will be attacked through legislation, without collective bargaining.

Kearney told the rally: “You are under attack, make no mistake.”

Discontent among left-wing unions is growing as Foley and Rann dig their heels in and ignore the mood of the electorate. According to the October 12 Australian, Liquor Hospitality Miscellaneous Workers Union state secretary David Di Troia said if Rann and Foley were not replaced, the union wouldn’t support Labor at the 2014 election.

Ten public sector unions, under the SA Unions umbrella, are campaigning for Labor to return to its “traditional values”.

The next rally will take place at 12.30pm on 26 October in Victoria Square — the day the legislation goes before the Legislative Assembly.

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