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Howard Abandonís Working Australians
26 May 2005
John Howard today showed just how far he is in big business pockets with the release of his unfair IR package.
Key features of the package include:
National Secretary Craig Thomson said "these proposed changes represent the greatest attack on families and workers in a generation.
- No employee able to make a claim for unfair dismissal in workplaces with less than 100 employees. This represents around 90% of the workforce;
- Those employees who work for an employer with more than 100 employees cannot claim unfair dismissal in the first six months of there employment
- State system to be overridden by the Commonwealth taking away the independent umpire in many states;
- The number of items covered by awards can is limited to 16.
- The "no disadvantage test" on an agreement watered down enabling a trade off award conditions;
- Over time award classifications linked to the skill levels of workers is also to be broken down so pay rates can be determined more by the labour market;
- The AIRC will remain as a tribunal that settles disputes, but its powers to intervene will be limited and it won't be permitted to play a role with awards;
- New restraints will be placed on union bargaining rights, with secret ballots before strikes, tougher penalties for illegal industrial action and restrictions on the access of union officials to worksites;
- Unions will no longer be permitted to launch industry-wide wage claims, which will be banned in favour of negotiations specific to workplaces;
- The Government will heavily promote non-union employment contracts, called Australian Workplace Agreements, which currently account for 2 to 3 per cent of the workforce so that employees have to individually bargain rather than collectively bargain.
These changes will affect all aspects of a persons work and family life and dramatically increase the feeling of insecurity that people are experiencing at the moment.
John Howard has sold out working people and Australians families to the greedy interests of big business.
Health workers who look after the most vulnerable and needy in our community will find themselves the victims of a heartless government.
Only by working together will working families be able to succeed in making sure everyone gets a fair go at work"
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