The following motion was passed by Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) executive council on July 26.
“The VTHC believes refugees should not be punished for fleeing war and persecution to seek asylum. This is a right granted to all people under Australian and international law.
“There are over 10 million refugees in the world.
“Last year, Australia granted 13,759 humanitarian visas. This is less than 0.2% of the world’s refugees. Australia ranks 12th in the world by GDP, yet we rank 71st in taking refugees by GDP. By any measure, we do not do our fair share.
“Over 90% of arrivals who travel by boat are found to be refugees.
“This is an important issue because there is a long history of workers who support unions being persecuted because of their belief in standing up for workers’ rights.
“There are still many countries where working for a union or being part of a union can place workers in danger. We believe it is important these people, like all people fleeing for their safety, have the right to ask Australia for safety. We believe it’s Australia’s responsibility to treat these people fairly.
“The VTHC supports the rally for refugees and condemns the policy position of both major political parties.”