Lourdes Garcia Larqué
Rank and file member and sub-branch Women’s Officer of the AEU, Victoria
How long have you been a union member?
I have been an AEU member since I was a student-teacher in 2013, before that I have also been a union organiser in what is now the United Workers Union
Why did you join the union?
Since I moved to Australia from Mexico I was able to see how organised workers campaigned for health and safety in industries that back in my country are incredibly dangerous or precarious like construction, mining or sanitation. Years ago, I worked at what used to be the Miscellaneous Worker Union, campaigning with the cleaners. As soon as I became a teacher I just knew I had to be a union member.Read more
The media and the politicians are telling us that many of us in Melbourne, Victoria are experiencing lockdown fatigue. That the people that are defying the lockdown laws are crazy or antisocial. They are telling us to hang in there, that we are all in this together.
There is another way to understand this fatigue.Read more
Last edition we looked at the unions’ struggle to achieve industrial manslaughter (IM) laws in Victoria, and how, in 2017 under Luke Hilakari as Secretary, the VTHC relaunched the campaign for these laws.
Since the earlier campaign, two other jurisdictions, the ACT and Queensland had introduced IM laws - but neither had had any successful prosecutions. So we wanted better laws, laws which would ‘work’.Read more
Why have we wanted and campaigned for industrial manslaughter laws in Victoria?
On a simple level it’s a desire for justice. When a family loses a loved one in a preventable workplace incident only to see the employer, who too often broke the law, prosecuted only to avoid paying the fine by going into receivership it hits them in the guts. Even when large corporations do end up paying the fine, that fine is like a slap on the wrist, and they can even insure themselves against it. Those companies, those employers don’t really pay; no-one seems to care. Yet if someone kills another person with a drunken punch or as a result of reckless driving, that individual is sent to jail.Read more