ALP 'winds back the clock': Federal Government

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ALP 'winds back the clock': Federal Government

The Federal Government rejected as old fashioned the workplace and employment policies Mark Latham laid out in his speech to the ALP conference yesterday, while the ACTU rejoiced.

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1/2004

 

The Federal Government rejected as old fashioned the workplace and employment policies Mark Latham laid out in his speech to the ALP conference yesterday, while the ACTU rejoiced.

The Federal Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, said Latham’s plans to ‘re-regulate Australian workplaces; reduce choice and flexibility for employers and employees; and slug employers with extra costs’ reverse all the advances the Government has made to date.

Latham’s polices will destroy jobs, he said. But the Government is in the business of creating jobs for all Australians, including mature people and welfare recipients, he added.

Since 1996, the Federal Government has created 1.3 million jobs and real wages have increased 16.3%, he claimed. Also, the current unemployment rate of 5.6% was at a 14-year low.

He believed that as a result of the Government’s efforts ‘more Australians can benefit from the nation’s growing prosperity and provides greater security for their families’.

ACTU rejoicing

The ACTU on the other hand welcomed Latham's plans to help working people.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said Latham focused on issues central to working families.

'We welcome Mark Latham's commitment to introduce paid maternity leave and to improve the rights of working parents,’ she said.

‘These are litmus test issues for working families and we welcome the strong support they are getting from Labor's new leader.

'Mark also clearly understands that the current bargaining relationship in the workplace under the Howard Government is unequal and unfair and the ACTU applauds his announcement that Labor will abolish AWAs and restore a role for the Industrial Relations Commission.

'He has also rightly identified the explosion in casual jobs as a key issue for Australian workers and we look forward to working with him to make sure these workers get more rights and a sense of security in the workplace.'

ACTU figures show that casual employment doubled from 13% in 1982 to 27.3% in 2000.

While ACTU research released this week reveals that ‘a family of four living on the minimum wage is $180 a week short of having a modest but adequate standard of living’.

For related information see:

Representing working people is a 'virtue': Latham

Power to the workers...Federal ALP plans to shake up IR

What do you get when you double the minimum wage? A modest income

Are you willing to employ disabled workers?

ACTU Minimum Wage Campaign

 

 

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