Chance for workers to hurt Libs over WorkChoices: ACTU

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Chance for workers to hurt Libs over WorkChoices: ACTU

The election on 24 November is the first chance for the Australian public to tell John Howard and Peter Costello what they think about their WorkChoices IR laws, the ACTU says.

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The election on 24 November is the first chance for the Australian public to tell John Howard and Peter Costello what they think about their WorkChoices IR laws, the ACTU says.

'WorkChoices has already hurt hundreds of thousands of working families,' ACTU President, Sharan Burrow, said. 'The Howard Government's WorkChoices laws have taken away important rights and conditions such as public holiday pay, penalty rates, redundancy pay, overtime pay and protection from unfair dismissal.'

She said those affected included:

  • Workers in small and medium sized businesses who have lost protection from being sacked unfairly (nearly four million workers)
  • Low skilled employees on AWA individual contracts who earn on average $106 a week less than workers on collective agreements
  • Workers in cafes, shops and restaurants including large numbers of young workers who have been hit hardest by WorkChoices and have lost up to a third of their take home pay (1.7 million workers)
  • Low paid workers who have experienced a cut in real terms to their minimum award wages under the Howard Government's new pay commission (1.5 million workers)
  • Women who now earn less, on average, compared to men than they did when John Howard was elected 11 years ago

'This election is a very important opportunity to stop the Coalition from going further on industrial relations if it gets re-elected,' Burrow said.

Didn't tell workers

'At the last election, the Liberals and Nationals did not tell the public about their plan to introduce WorkChoices and strip away workers' rights but went ahead and did it anyway.

'This election is the first chance for the Australian public to tell John Howard and Peter Costello what they think about their unfair WorkChoices IR laws.'

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