employment

Below is an abridged version of a speech delivered by socialist unionist Robynne Murphy to this year’s ACTU Congress. Murphy spoke alongside three women from the Electrical Trades Union, who had formed the “Sparkettes”, a network to support other women in their union.

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I worked at the steelworks in Port Kembla for 30 years, during which time I was involved in a long campaign with mainly migrant women for the right for women to have secure and well-paid jobs.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Stastics on July 24 show 28,600 or 16.5% of people experiencing homelessness in Australia have full-time jobs.

The figures also show more than one-third of homeless people aged over 15 are employed in some capacity.

A total of 61,500 people are employed in some way, but their wages do not pay enough to put a roof over their head.

Nearly half the homeless population — 45.6% — is either in work or looking for work, and the unemployment rate for people experiencing homelessness is 22.5%.

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