Sydney rally for justice for injured workers

rally for workers comp
Rally for workers' comp in Sydney on November 3.

About 200 unionists rallied on November 3 to highlight the plight of injured workers in the state. The day marked the beginning of the NSW parliamentary Law and Justice Committee’s review of the 2012 changes to workers' compensation legislation by the Coalition state government.

Speakers included representatives of UnionsNSW and individual unions, state MPs, and workers who had presented testimony to the committee that morning.

Greens MP David Shoebridge told the crowd: "Workers’ compensation has been totally gutted by the Coalition government in NSW. Under the changes, 25,000 workers will shortly lose their benefits in a single day. We need to restore the system. Workers' compensation is a matter of basic dignity."

President of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Construction Branch, Rita Mallia said: "Five construction workers were killed in a period of 20 days recently. Twenty-eight construction workers have died on the job so far this year.

"The current workers' compensation system has effectively abandoned these workers. We need to throw this system out and build a new one."

Several injured workers then spoke about their traumatic experiences with the system and the continual attempts by insurance companies to cancel their benefits and cut costs.

The rally ended with the symbolic presentation of a giant cheque for $8 billion from the injured workers of NSW via Premier Mike Baird to the big insurance companies, representing the amount of the rip-off by the government from the workers of the state.

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