Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus has urged Labor to promise to halve the number of Australians in insecure jobs.
The influential unionist wants the federal opposition to make job security its number one priority ahead of the next election, due by 2022.
Ms McManus said that among developed economies, Australia had one of the highest rates of insecure work, with the figure about 40 per cent.
"This should be called out as totally unacceptable," she told the Towards 2022 conference in Sydney on Sunday.
"Labor should aim to halve it, so the only insecure jobs are those that are genuinely short term, intermittent or by genuine preference of the worker."
She said Labor could also promise workers would fairly share in Australia's wealth through supporting them to win pay rises.
"That also goes to the heart of both fairness and rising living standards, making a real difference to people's lives," Ms McManus said.
She launched a stinging attack on the ultra-wealthy, saying democracy had become a plaything for those who had done exceedingly well over the past 30 years.
"There is a small class of people who are responsible for our current situation - our insecurity and our anxiety - the billionaire class," she said.
The ACTU secretary also called on Labor not to resile from pointing to neoliberal economics as the reason for increased inequality.
"There needs to be a clear explanation for people about who is actually to blame for record inequality," she said.
Ms McManus said the same actors were responsible for inadequate global action on climate change.
"Our cities are choked with smoke, farms are shutting down because of drought and more natural disasters will come to frighten us with their intensity and power," she said.
She said without faith being restored in democracy there would be fertile ground for authoritarianism and extremists who thrive on hate.
"Australian Labor could dramatically increase the number of permanent jobs with proper rights and reverse the growth in insecure work," Ms McManus said.
"This would make a huge difference to working people's lives. It would also restore some faith to our democratic system, faith that real positive change can be bought about."
Meanwhile, Labor frontbencher Clare O'Neil called for under-utilisation to be the measure of employment outcomes rather than unemployment.
She said Australia's under-utilisation rate was 13.8 per cent, rising to 15.6 per cent for women.
"That's about two million Australians who are not getting what they need from the labour market. It's their drought," she told the conference.
"Two million people who want to have a go, but can't get a go in Scott Morrison's Australia."
Australian Associated Press