The Covid-19 pandemic is a stress test for societies at a global scale. The virus has been ruthless in exposing underlying fault lines and weaknesses in almost all countries, while also revealing strengths.Read more
Australia has a good health care system when compared to most of the world. It provides access to primary heath services, hospitals and medication for the vast majority of its citizens at no or low cost. This is achieved through Medicare, the PBS and the public hospital system. It is far better than the American situation where health care is almost fully profit-driven, wildly expensive and completely out of reach of the poor and uninsured. However Australia’s claim to have a universal heath care system is not true, when many vital services are only available privately – dental care and mental health care being two of the most obvious examples.Read more
The Capitalists Are Not United
It is now the end of May and so far, COVID-19 has been cited as the cause of death for about 350,000 people worldwide and has infected about 5.5 million people. The global response to the pandemic has been variable, but most countries have introduced some form of shut down measures, which include social distancing and business closures. The economic fallout has been severe. Many businesses will be wiped out, and some industries will take years to recover.Read more
Piergiorgio (Pier) Moro, Australia Services Union VicTas A&S Workplace delegate and a HSR
How long have you been a union member?
I’ve been a member with the ASU for 28 years. I have had shorter stints with other unions.
Why did you join the union?
It just seemed the obvious thing to do really. Two major reasons.Read more
“I am working in administration. I am a casual, now working from home. Does the company I am working for have to provide me with an ergonomic office chair?”
Unfortunately, there is nothing specifically in the law that requires an employer to provide the equipment necessary, for someone to work from home. However, under Victoria’s OHS Act (and similar acts in other jurisdictions), the employer DOES have a legal duty to employees (including casual employees) to, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health. This is called the ‘general duty of care’ and applies to everything: the workplace, the equipment, the systems of work, supervision and training, and so on. But it is qualified by ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.Read more