Unions in South Australia are taking a powerful stand on the 150th anniversary of the historic 8-hour workday by unveiling a bold report featuring eight critical recommendations aimed at safeguarding the 8-hour workday for the next 150 years.
These recommendations include:
8 HOURS OF WORK WE CAN RELY AND THRIVE ON
1 - Level the Playing Field for Gig Platforms: "Employee-like" work should come with minimum conditions, and workers on these platforms should receive fair compensation.
2 - Pathways to Permanent Employment: Casual and insecure employees must have improved opportunities for transitioning to permanent positions.
3 - Ethical Public Expenditure: The state government, SA's largest employer, should set a high standard for wages and conditions, ensuring workers' take-home pay increases in real terms. Taxpayer-funded ventures, grants, procurement, and projects must prioritise secure jobs and ethical practices.
4 - AI, High-Tech, and Green Industry Transition: These advancements should benefit working people by enhancing their quality of life, not just increasing employers' profit margins.
8 HOURS OF WORK WE CAN CLOCK OFF FROM
5 -Enforced Working Time Limits: Workers should have the right to switch off, with consequences for employers who breach these limits.
6 - End Unpaid Overtime: Employees must be empowered to refuse after-hours work contact, with protection from retaliation. Employers should record all after-hours contact for transparency and wage theft prevention.
8 HOURS OF WORK WE COME HOME SAFE FROM
7 - Empower Workers for Safety: Workers should proactively address safety risks to prevent injuries and fatalities.
8 - Address Psychosocial Hazards: Employers should prioritise addressing psychosocial hazards as they do physical hazards.
"This month, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first 8-hour day won in South Australia. Back then, there was no minimum wage, working people had to struggle workplace by workplace to win better conditions."
"In 1873, metal trades workers were the first in the state to win the right to an 8-hour workday. Many more trades and occupations would follow. South Australians had just learnt the power of working people coming together."
"Today, we face a new struggle - insecure work and creeping digital technology keep us tethered to work, while corporate profits soar, gouged from the hip-pockets and pay-packets of workers."
“1 in 3 workers don’t have secure employment, and almost a million Australians are stretched between multiple jobs to make ends meet, the highest level ever on record.”
"We deserve 8 hours of work that we can rely on, come home safely from, and clock off from."
“We continue the path forged by those visionaries 150 years ago, striving for a better future where all South Australians can thrive, not just survive.”