Author Fiona McCandless
Workers and working people are the main casualties of wars. Our Defence Force personnel are workers in uniform, and while they bear the brunt of battle, working class communities at home also wear the consequences. Physical and psychological injuries break-up children's families and homes; our public health systems pick up the pieces but still, too often, lives end in tragic circumstances. HACSU members working in the Disability and Mental Health sectors have a large part to play in the emotional and physical recovery from war due to injury and trauma. If a major war was to break out, our members would be affected.
Working people’s taxes should not be diverted from public and community needs such as public health, education, affordable housing, welfare, and building local and sustainable industries and secure jobs in Australia. Particularly when our industries are continually having to fight for funding – be it under the NDIA or for our mental health hospitals.
Australia can be self-reliant and has the ability to safeguard our security and sovereignty, instead of funding Australia’s involvement in foreign wars of aggression and acquisition of weapons from multinational weapons manufacturers for offensive wars. The Australian working people have the skills, knowledge and creativity to design and build our own self-defence industries and strategies, and do not need to depend on any big powers.
Australian unions have a long history and involvement in the peace and social justice movements. HACSU is an affiliate of IPAN (Independent and Peaceful Australian Network) , and the union has activists within IPAN’s working group ‘Peace and Justice are Union Business’, a group working to improve conditions for Australia and to protest against war through the greater union movement.
There is power in union. All Australians deserve to be safe in their work and supported to reach their full potential without the fear of war or international aggression.