In the 1970s the Fraser government’s anti-union, austerity economics program was rightly hated by workers. Labor, under Bob Hawke promised a different way. A social contract – the Accord – promising a better world for workers. Instead, backed and policed by the left union officials in particular, they got their unions attacked and deregistered, saw a drop in wages and conditions, leading to the dire state we are in today – with industrial action and union membership dropping to all-time lows. We have to face up to the reality of the Accord – the neoliberal, class collaborationist-left nationalist project that it was – and rebuild a class-struggle, rank and file unionism from below, as well as a revolutionary socialist current in the working class.
This session will be introduced by Liz Ross, author of Stuff the Accord! Pay up! Workers’ resistance to the ALP-ACTU Accord.