1,000 signatures reached
To: Scott Morrison
No forced farm labour: defend unemployed workers' rights
Scott Morrison wants to force Newstart recipients out of their homes to perform rural labour - under threat of losing their social security entitlements.
Forcing unemployed workers to move away from their family, friends and homes is unfair and incredibly punitive. It's also a breach of their rights as Australian citizens - especially their right to freedom of movement.
Morrison's proposal would also put lives at risk. Seasonal farm workers are already being exploited, injured, and killed on rural sites in disturbing numbers. Last year, the government's Seasonal Worker Program claimed 12 lives.
Thanks to our government's economic policies, there are 16 job seekers competing for every job vacancy (according to the official ABS data). This ratio skyrockets in rural areas, where youth unemployment rates surge above 20%.
In an economy that isn't providing enough work for people, unemployment is not a personal failing; rather, it's a failure of government will and policy.
Scott Morrison must start respecting the citizenship rights of unemployed workers. His government must start creating new jobs instead of devising new punishments that deny basic human rights.
Why is this important?
By forcing unemployed workers out onto rural farms, Scott Morrison is stripping Australian citizens of their right to freedom of movement. This will create a deeply segregated society - one where only certain, privileged citizens have basic workplace rights and freedoms.
Over the past few months, Morrison has continued to trample on the rights of unemployed workers. He has taken away their rights to appeal unfair penalties made by private employment services providers; he has stripped their rights to a 'reasonable excuse' for not attending activities and appointments; and he has significantly expanded the coercive and dangerous Work for the Dole program.
Australians who have become unemployed - due to no fault of their own - are being systematically branded as second-class citizens.
Scott Morrison's plan will not create one single job for unemployed workers. It will only punish them for his government's own failure to create enough jobs.
Let's send Scott Morrison a clear message - Create Work, Not Punishment!