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Unions played major role in federal election result says analyst

The union movement's marginal seats campaign played an "absolutely critical" role in generating the swing to the Labor Party in the recent federal election, according to veteran political analyst Malcolm Mackerras.

During the election, unions campaigned in 28 mostly Coalition-held marginal seats. Labor won 10 of those seats and at the time of going to press is ahead in another four.

It also won a number of seats that had been held by the Coalition but became notionally Labor after electoral redistributions.

Unions campaigned strongly around the country on the issues of protection of weekend penalty rates, protection of public health and education services and the creation of local jobs – issues that clearly resonated with working people, especially those in regions facing grim employment prospects such as Tasmania and parts of Queensland.

Queensland Council of Unions Secretary Ros McLennan she said local jobs was a "critical issue" especially in the north and far north of the state, but the Coalition "ignored important questions about the future of industrial relations" and voters "barely heard a word about the ABCC".

ACTU President Ged Kearney agreed.

“The Coalition's failure to offer a substantive IR policy leaves them with absolutely no mandate for significant changes or indeed for any policy that seeks to undermine workers' rights, pay or job security," she said.

Source: Workplace Express

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