Beazley outlines his key IR principles

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Beazley outlines his key IR principles

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley has outlined the general principles of his IR policy if Labor wins the next federal election.

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Opposition Leader Kim Beazley has outlined the general principles of his IR policy if Labor wins the next federal election.

In a speech to the Governing Council of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) Beazley said his six key IR principles would be:

  • Proper rights for Australian workers who are unfairly dismissed.
  • A strong safety net of minimum awards and conditions.
  • An independent umpire to ensure fair wages and conditions, and to settle disputes.
  • The right for employees to bargain collectively for decent wages and conditions.
  • The right for workers to reject individual contracts which cut pay and conditions, and undermine collective bargaining and union representation.
  • And the right to join a union and be represented by a union.

Permanent underclass

‘It’s these basic rights of working Australians that are being violated [by WorkChoices],’ Beazley said. ‘And it’s these rights that the law should respect.’

Beazley said he would not allow a 'permanent underclass’ to develop in Australia – ‘an army of hard working Australians, forced to hold down two, three or four insecure jobs, working night and day to keep their heads above water, and never getting ahead’.

‘I haven’t spent my life in politics to see the rights that working Australians have fought for and won over successive generations, taken away by a Prime Minister who didn’t even have the decency and honesty to tell us before the last election what he had in mind,’ Beazley said.

Beazley said he would also remove the ban on workplace agreements containing provisions for union-provided OHS training.

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