Jobs with Justice rallies were held around Australia today. In Sydney speakers included a rep from the MUA, as well as Mark Fordham and Rosalie Kunoth Monks from the NT. The aim of the rally was to call for action on the lack of real jobs in the NT. The dismantling of CDEP without replacing it with real and properly paid jobs and paying people partly with the basic cards. Hourly rates are atrocious.

Mark Fordham told us that people are keen to work and want to work, but they are consistently being knocked down and are unsupported. He told us stories of people that are being paid low rates of pay and half the money is put onto their basics card. The working conditions are also woeful. One person he spoke about broke his arm but was still expected to turn up to work on a building site, otherwise his income payments would be stopped. Mark Fordham himself was sacked for trying to stand up for workers rights.

Other speakers said call it what it is – slave labour!

Rosalie Kunoth Monks said that the Government endgame is to destroy Aboriginal people and culture. She said that people are traumatised to such an extent they don’t know who to turn to. She also made the comment with regard to the comnpulsory acquisition of five year leases that her people “cannot afford to give away our land for bricks and mortar”.