Dave Oliver writes to AMWU members explaining his decision to run for ACTU Secretary.
“There has been speculation in the past few days about the position of ACTU Secretary and my potential candidacy when the position is up for election in May this year.
I would like firstly to pay tribute to Jeff Lawrence, whose record has been securing the implementation of the Fair Work Act in the post-WorkChoices era and who has worked tirelessly for the union movement for over 30 years, including representing many of Australia’s lowest paid and most vulnerable workers.
As Jeff has now announced he will be stepping aside, I have decided to nominate for ACTU Secretary. The union movement faces new and increasing political, economic and industrial challenges which require a renewed commitment to campaigning and a stronger national presence from the movement as a whole.
In recent days, many union leaders have stated to me that they believe I can provide the leadership required. This view is based largely on the results delivered from AMWU campaigns and I would like to pay tribute to the work of all of our organisers, officials and staff for building this capacity in our union, and to the tireless efforts of our delegates and activists in workplaces across Australia.
Our union has become an incredibly strong and united force during the past 5 years and I am confident that it will remain so.
I will focus on a number of crucial areas if I become ACTU Secretary.
One of these will be the growing threat to jobs and the economy, particularly in those sectors impacted by the mining boom and the high Australian dollar, not only in manufacturing but in finance, tourism and the service sector. State Governments are also pressuring public sector jobs, especially in health and education, and attacking the quality of service and delivery.
Another crucial threat facing workers and their unions is the threat by employers and the Liberals to bring back WorkChoices. We must be ready to meet that challenge with a strong and united campaigning movement should it arise in 2013.
Over the coming days, I will be seeking the broad support of all affiliates of the ACTU for my candidacy.
To my friends and comrades in the AMWU - past and present - I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve our union over the past 24 years and if successful I look forward to working with you for many years to come in my new capacity.” - Dave Oliver.