An unemployed graphic designer has clashed with Ben Fordham after the 2GB host told him to ‘get a job’ on his radio show last week.
Jez Heywood, 47, president of the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, has been unemployed since 2017 and says he has limited job options due to mental health issues.
Mr Heywood, who lives in Melbourne, had previously said he was ‘angry and annoyed’ by welfare payments not being raised high enough.
The pair finally came head-to-head during an interview on Wednesday morning on the radio show, with Fordham saying he ‘wanted to see whether we can find Jez a job’.
Mr Heywood accused Fordham of calling him a ‘dole bludger’.
‘Can I just point something out? You calling me a dole bludger on national radio,’ he said.
‘I didn’t,’ Fordham interrupted.
‘You didn’t? What did you call me?’ Mr Heywood responded, to which Fordham told him he needed to ‘get your facts straight’.
‘I never called you a dole bludger, I said ”Jez why don’t you get a job?”,’ the broadcaster said.
Mr Heywood then said while Fordham didn’t explicitly call him a dole bludger, it had been ‘inferred’.
Fordham laughed off the accusation and said he just wanted to help Mr Heywood find a job.
‘Do you? Because you’re not saying very nice things about me on the radio,’ Mr Heywood replied.
Mr Heywood said he was actively looking for a job but his ability to work was ‘greatly reduced’ due to mental health issues.
‘It’s hard to find things that my brain can handle,’ he said.
‘The last job I applied for on Seek, I got an email back saying there was over 100 applicants, so there’s a lot of people out there looking for jobs and it’s a really tough market.’
Fordham then questioned whether his mental health issues were brought on by the fact he wasn’t working.
Jez Heywood, 47, president of the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, has been unemployed since 2017 and says he has limited job options due to mental health issues
Fordham questioned why Mr Heywood hadn’t found a job given there were tens of thousands of roles waiting to be filled
‘There’s 54,000 jobs available in Melbourne. None of those 54,000 jobs are suitable for you? Or you’re applying for them but they’re not giving you the nod?’ Fordham asked.
Mr Heywood said he was applying for roles suitable to him.
‘I can’t consistently commit to something. My brain just gets so incredibly exhausted,’ he said.
‘The best thing that happened to me in the past three years is when the Morrison Government doubled JobSeeker.’
When Fordham asked if he’d be willing to work physical labour, Mr Heywood said he didn’t have the physical capacity to do so.
The broadcaster then asked if he’d take up a part-time gig in a pub.
‘The problem with those kind of situations is, I have a cousin who runs a supermarket and once I asked him if he’d employ me, and he said he wouldn’t because I have a postgraduate degree in graphic design and 20 years experience,’ Mr Heywood said.
‘He said he wouldn’t see me as a full time employee, he would see me as not a permanent employee. If he had a resume from me and a resume from someone who’d already worked in supermarkets he’d take the supermarket person.’
Fordham then asked: ‘What would you say to anyone out there in the graphic design industry who’s thinking alright I desperately need someone and I’m happy to give Jez a go?’.
Mr Hewywood called on employers to get in contact, and that he’d be willing to work part-time, eight hours a week.
Mr Heywood has found himself at the centre of a media storm since telling The Australian last week the extra $2.85 allocated in Tuesday’s budget to people on JobSeeker was ‘absolutely nothing’.
After telling the newspaper he has limited job options due to health conditions, Mr Heywood said he would be homeless except for living rent-free in a granny flat on his parents’ Melbourne property.
In response to the article, Fordham told his listeners: ‘Why don’t you weigh up getting a job? Any job? Because we’re here to tell you there are half a million of them available right now.’
Figures reveal there have been 40,000 Australians on JobSeeker for over 10 ten years despite there being over 400,000 job vacancies nationally
Mr Heywood hit back at the time and accused the broadcaster of bullying.
‘Ben Fordham is a coward and bully who has been taking pot-shots at welfare recipients from the safety of his cosy radio studio for years,’ Mr Heywood earlier told Daily Mail Australia.
‘This highly-paid weakling profits off demonising the most vulnerable in our society who are trying everything they can to survive on $49.50 a day, less than half the poverty line.
‘If Ben wants to shoot his mouth off further, I challenge him to have me in his studio where he can look me in the eye and tell me what he thinks to my face. I doubt he has the guts to do that, though.’
He also took aim at Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the unemployed man also called for welfare payments to go further.
‘Albanese’s budget was an abject failure from someone who promised ‘Nobody Left Behind’,’ Mr Heywood raged.
‘He has ignored the pleas of the AUWU, ACOSS, his own backbenchers and even his own economic inclusion advisory committee report that recommended jobseeker be substantially increased.
‘People are desperate. People have to make unnecessary sacrifices, choosing between food, heating and medication, to survive. People are living in tents.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk