Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Paul Howes jumps ship (sort of)

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After almost 7 years as National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), Paul Howes has quit to take a job with KPMG – one of the world’s top business advisory firms. Howes’ new job will see him advising big businesses about how to increase their profits.

By Corey Snoek, Socialist Party

This may seem like an odd move for someone who has previously claimed to stand up for workers, but the truth is Howes has overseen thousands of job losses, the slashing of many conditions and only minimal wage rises.

Howes has come out on numerous occasions calling for a ‘national compact’ between unions, big business and government. He, like many pro-ALP union leaders, sees the role of trade unions as sustaining a healthy capitalist system. In reality this means assisting in bringing down “unsustainable wages” (Howes’ words).

Many in the ALP are openly excited about Howes’ change in career. They see his experience of screwing workers from both sides as helping to shape him into future Prime Ministerial material for the ALP.

Howes is a prime example of how the ALP no longer represents the interests of ordinary people. Big business has two parties to choose from, workers need one of their own.