Hospo Voice

Yas Minister! Why all hospo workers should be politically aware

March 22, 2021

Meme by @artfuldolebludger

How to up your political awareness and make a difference

It’s easy to become apathetic about politics. Especially when you’re overworked and underpaid – 82% of hospo workers have experienced wage theft. Half the time you’re struggling to keep your head above water, and still make time to see friends and family. Who has time to worry about which old, white guy is embroiled in today’s political scandal?

But it’s important to look past the drama and stay engaged in politics because it has a direct impact on our lives. Every day politicians are drafting and debating legislation that will affect your retirement, environment and working life.  According to The Guardian, 2019 saw Australia’s voter enrolment rate the highest it had been in Australian history, with 88.8% of young Australians registered to vote.

We love how young people are actively taking part in democracy, but with great power comes great responsibility. As an active voter, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the policies of each party, how they affect you and then vote accordingly. 

So how can you improve your political awareness, particularly in relation to hospitality? Here are our tips.

Figure out what you care about

What’s most important to you? Think about what you care about and find your stance on issues like climate change, industrial relations, education, social services, health and immigration. 

This can take some time, as our belief systems are still in flux throughout young adulthood. But once you’ve worked it out, it’ll make it much easier for you to decide who to vote for.

Some of the big issues that affect hospo workers that we’re keeping an eye on right now are casualisation and job security, wage theft, workplace sexual harassment and migrant worker and immigration policy.

Find a wide range of trusted news sources

It’s a good idea to read news from both left and right leaning outlets so you get all perspectives. You will often agree more with a particular side (hopefully the left 😉), and this revelation can help you decide who to vote for at election time.

We’ll always keep you updated with news that affects hospo workers so make sure you’re following us on socials and subscribe to our emails.

Whatever you do, don’t get your political news only from contacts on social media. Whether deliberately or not, many people often misinterpret a policy to skew to their own agenda.

Hold your elected representatives to account

Your members of parliament are elected to do a job – to represent, and advocate for their constituency. And they know that if they don’t do a good job, they face unemployment. 

If there’s an issue that you’re passionate about, get in touch with your MP or state senator to let them know. Especially if you live in a state that has elected independent senators or people from smaller parties. Their votes in the upper house can be incredibly important.

Join your union

Joining a union like Hospo Voice is a great way to get involved in politics in hospitality. Volunteer your time to help your union with the issues they’re working on. 

You could get the opportunity to lobby politicians, address senate hearings, and campaign about issues that affect hospitality worker relations. You’ll be able to make a massive difference to the work-life of future hospo workers. 

Getting involved with your union is an excellent way to campaign around a range of issues, both social and work-related. There are also chances to attend training and take on leadership roles. You can take these lessons back to your workplace. 

Use your own voice

The internal conflict in Australia’s major parties over the last few years has been counterproductive to issues such as climate policy and race relations. As a result, the Australian public has lost trust in the government’s ability to focus on the issues that matter

It’s important to remember that during these times, your voice can still be heard. 

We saw how much power social media gave to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. When #blackouttuesday took over the internet, the world focused on the issues of white privilege and racism which put pressure on politicians. 

That moment in history can be a lesson to us all. If you’re losing faith in government, it’s up to you to make them listen. Use your blog, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube to voice your concerns. You never know the change you could ignite.

Looking for more info about how to be more politically aware in hospo?

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