Anti-WorkChoices campaign 'unravelling', says Andrews

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Anti-WorkChoices campaign 'unravelling', says Andrews

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews has claimed the anti-WorkChoices campaign is 'unravelling'.

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Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews has claimed the anti-WorkChoices campaign is 'unravelling'.

Andrews told a press conference yesterday that there were three areas where the campaign was off the track.

'In the first three months of WorkChoices 159,000 jobs were created,' he said. 'I went back and looked at what the average creation of jobs for the months of April through to July were for the last 20 years in this country, and the average number of jobs created over the last 20 years in Australia was just 51,000 jobs.

'So in the first three months of WorkChoices we have seen more than three-fold the number of jobs created on average in that same quarter for the last 20 years in Australia.'

Wages continuing to rise

Secondly, he said, wages are continuing to rise.

'I think the latest data shows that agreement wages are increasing at about an annualised rate of about 4%, or just over 4%,' Andrews said. 'So the two central claims that critics made against WorkChoices that it would be a green light to slash jobs, and secondly it would drive down wages, and that is simply not happening in Australia.'

National approach

On top of that, Andrews said, last week NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca, who had 'argued for month upon month upon month that we shouldn't have a national approach to industrial relations', had said all the industrial relations commissions of the States should get together and have a national approach to wage setting in Australia.

'I think Della Bosca ought to go back to the High Court next week and tell the High Court that he's withdrawing his claim against a national approach to industrial relations, because what he's trying to do is a backdoor de facto way of putting in place the very thing that we've legislated, that is a national approach to industrial relations.'

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