TUC urges Aussies to use their vote

The TUC has issued a rallying call to Aussies living in the UK to vote to restore workers’ rights in the Australian elections held this coming weekend.

An estimated 500,000 Australians live in this country, and can vote from now until 24 November at the Australian High Commission in London.

The TUC claims the current Australian government, under prime minister John Howard, had slashed workers’ rights to overtime pay, holidays and union representation, and undermined other legal protections.

The union group said that with Australian elections traditionally closely-run contests, the votes of the thousands of UK-based Aussies could determine which party wins.

A massive campaign by the TUC’s sister organisation, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), to give workers their rights back, has become the key issue of the election.

Back in September, ACTU president Sharan Burrow addressed the TUC Congress in Brighton and won the backing of British trade unionists for the union’s campaign.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Australians abroad can make a difference to this historic election – more Australians vote in London than at any polling station in Australia. I hope they will vote for a fair go for working families back home.”

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