Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

ACTU Congress: Flattest in years

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The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) triennial Congress was held in Melbourne in late May. The focus of the gathering was a $13 million plan to increase the union movement’s capacity to campaign for the Labor Party at elections.

By Socialist Party reporters

Attendees described the events as the “flattest in years” with even the media in attendance commenting about the absence of passionate debate.

With historically low levels of industrial action and a rapidly declining membership you’d think that a peak body Congress would be focused on how to make itself relevant once again. Not so.

Historically workers have won a bigger share of the wealth by campaigning in the workplaces and engaging in strikes and protests. The shift away from this approach, and the purely electoral focus of the ACTU, has helped employers accumulate massive profits at the expense of the working class.

Unfortunately this stage-managed Congress did nothing to address the real issues faced by working people. A decision was made to impose a $4 to $6 levy on each union member and this money will be wasted employing organisers that will try to get the discredited Labor Party elected in 30 marginal seats.


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