ABC Chair Ita Buttrose has drawn fire today for her overnight attack on young workers saying they lack resilience and “need hugging”.
Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Michael Clifford said that young workers have been at the pointy end of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been hardest hit by the economic crisis.
They have already borne the brunt of the job losses: 44 per cent of the jobs lost so far this year belonged to 15 to 24-year-olds, Buttrose’s ABC reported earlier this month.
And university research on COVID impacts shows younger people are also much more likely to be in housing stress than older people, with nearly half of 18-to-24-year-olds reporting not being able to pay their rent or mortgage on time.
“Young workers are more likely to be in casual and insecure work and don’t have sick leave or the security of ongoing work,” said Mr Clifford.
“Young workers are navigating JobKeeper changes, wage theft, work health and safety. They don’t need attacks, they need secure work.”
Hannah Herrmann, coordinator of the Young Workers Hub, which educates and advocates for young workers in Queensland, refuted the ABC Chair’s comments.
“Young workers are feeling anxious and uncertain at this time, like everyone. But we need secure work so that we can plan for our future,” she said.
“The ABC itself has committed wage theft and should focus on that instead of attacking young workers.
“The Young Workers Hub has helped young workers campaign for strong wage theft laws in Queensland and won’t stop until it is treated as a crime.”