ACTU urges Abbott to stand by IR election promise

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ACTU urges Abbott to stand by IR election promise

The ACTU has called on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to stand by his election promise — that he would make no changes to the government’s IR legislation if he were to win government.

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The ACTU has called on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to stand by his election promise — that he would make no changes to the government’s IR legislation if he were to win government.
 
The call comes after media reports that Abbott is being pressured by senior Liberal MPs to reinstate the removal of unfair dismissal laws from small business, and the return of individual work contracts as part of Liberal Party policy.
 
ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said unions will fight any attempts by the Liberals to take Australia back to WorkChoices.
 
He said working people will be concerned that so soon after declaring that WorkChoices was dead and that there would be no changes to workplace laws, senior Liberals and big business are already lobbying for changes that would take away unfair dismissal protection and restrict collective bargaining.
 
‘Abbott must immediately stand by his election commitment, signed on paper, that WorkChoices was “dead, buried and cremated” and rule out any changes to the Fair Work Act,’ Lawrence said.
 
Article of faith
 
‘His own MPs — including the Shadow Treasurer and Deputy Leader — have blown his cover and revealed that WorkChoices remains an article of faith for the Liberal Party.’
 
‘They are basically attempting to revive some of the key elements of WorkChoices, such as removing protection from unfair dismissal and reintroducing individual contracts.’
 
‘These are the very things that impact on job security, take home pay and conditions of working people, particularly vulnerable workers in small business and casual employment.’
 
Cynical sham
 
Lawrence said Abbott’s election pledge about WorkChoices has been exposed as ‘a cynical sham that was designed to con voters into thinking that the Liberals had dumped their long-term commitment to labour market deregulation’.
 
‘I would remind the Liberal Party that at two consecutive elections now, Australians have delivered a verdict that workplace rights are crucial,’ he said.
 
‘The Liberals’ radical labour market deregulation that puts absolute power in the hands of the employer is not the Australian way. Working Australians have moved on from WorkChoices and it’s time the Liberals did the same.’
 
Precarious
 
‘This week the ACTU has released a report that reveals that for a growing number of Australians, precarious work and job insecurity is the norm, and this is causing significant financial distress and hardship.’
 
‘These are the issues that matter to working people — a safe and secure job that allows them a decent standard of living and a balance between work and life.’
 
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