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Friday, September 8, 2017

AUWU Rally Against Channel Seven Vilification of Jobseekers



Calling for an end to the demonisation of jobseekers the Australian Unemployed Workers Union held a rally outside Channel Seven's Sunrise studio in Martin Place, Sydney today. They opposed the vilification of Australia's economically disadvantaged in Sunrise programs such as "Australia's Worst Dole Bludging Areas Named and Shamed" in which commentators called for punitive welfare penalties.



Speakers at the rally pointed out that with an average of 18 jobseekers for every job vacancy Channel Seven’s claim that Newstart recipients are shirkers were unfounded. Individual jobseekers were not to blame for failures of the free market according to the AUWU whose members called for an expansion of the public sector to employ everyone needing work and the introduction of a universal basic income.



Demonstrators asked early morning train commuters arriving for work in the CBD to support the ethical treatment of jobseekers. Speakers at the rally mentioned the high suicide rate among the unemployed which is estimated at more than 5 times the national average. [1] They accused Channel Seven of driving jobseekers into homelessness and despair by promoting unfair welfare crackdowns. Protestors began chanting SHAME, SHAME, SHAME disrupting Seven's normal live broadcast when Sunrise hosts had to move their seating away from windows facing Martin Place so television viewers wouldn't see the protest. 



“More and more people are living far below the poverty line under circumstances of hardship and humiliation through no fault of their own and Seven’s televised hate speech against jobseekers only makes life harder.” said AUWU Inner West branch member, Ms Josie Evans. The AUWU is demanding an end to the vilification of jobseekers and the opportunity to reply to Sunrise’s misleading program.



[1] https://www.thecalmzone.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/AIMHS-suicide-prevention-guidelines.pdf