Union-led “Bust the Budget” rallies and meetings held in Sydney and Melbourne on 12 June attracted thousands of people. Over 20,000 people attended the Melbourne rally organisers estimate.
The Melbourne march was attended by a broad cross-section of the union movement, including nurses, teachers, construction workers and aged care workers.
CWU members marched under a "Hands Off Aussie Post” banner. Although the Abbott government has said it will not privatise Post – at least in this term – cost cutting measures being adopted by Post management are another sign of the times.
CWU Victorian secretary (Postal and Telecommunications) Joan Doyle says that job cuts at Post and proposed cuts to postal deliveries are in line with the government’s overall attack on social services and living standards.
Unions representing some of the country's lowest-paid workers in industries such as hospitality and aged care, told the crowd that "we deserve a government that supports us, not hurts us".
"We are out on the streets today because were angry at a government who wants to make us work harder and work longer for less money," United Voice state secretary Jess Walsh said.
"Many were angry at a government who wants to make us only be able to go to the doctor if we can afford to pay ... who wants to deny our children to go to university, to better themselves and to have hope for the future.”