Government activity and workplace involvement


Government activity and workplace involvement

Unions Tasmania gets $20,000 for women in the workforce study; Qld MP quits ETU over privatisation battle.


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Unions Tasmania gets $20,000 for women in the workforce study; Qld MP quits ETU over privatisation battle.
Unions Tasmania gets $20,000 for women in the workforce study
Unions Tasmania has been given $20,000 by the State Government to run a research project on women’s participation in the workforce in Tasmania.
The Deputy Premier, Lara Giddings and the Workplace Relations Minister, Lisa Singh announced the grant today (Tuesday) at the Convict Female Factory.
Giddings said the iconic location was symbolic of the struggles for many women in relation to their work.
She said there are still challenges for women today in participating in the workforce as there were in colonial times.
Serious concern
‘Women’s participation in the workforce continues to be an area of serious concern,’ Giddings said.
‘Tasmania has low rates of female participation in comparison to the rest of Australia, with 55.2% of women involved in the workforce.’
‘Of those women who do participate in the workforce, less than half are in full time work.’
‘The remainder are often in precarious and temporary work with uncertain futures.’
Giddings said only slightly more than one-quarter of all women who could potentially work full time are in fact doing so.
‘These are worrying figures,’ she said.
‘It is important that we understand how we can make work more accessible for women and ensure that women who want to work are given the skills and opportunities they need, to do so.’
Qld MP quits ETU over privatisation battle
A Queensland Government MP has resigned from the ETU over its opposition to the privatisation of government assets.
Barron River MP Steve Wettenhall said in a letter to the ETU that his membership of the union was ‘untenable’, given its campaign against the government's $15 billion asset sales program.
The ETU has led the fight against privatisation in Queensland, arguing it will cost jobs and taxpayers will lose valuable assets.
The privatisation plans included profitable sections of Queensland Rail and the massive state forests, Brisbane Port, Queensland Motorways and a coal terminal.
ETU far north Queensland organiser Stuart Traill said he had had a number of discussions with Wettenhall where the MP has stated that he is becoming concerned due to the public outcry about the privatisation decision and believes that this is solely due to the ETU.
‘Good riddance’
‘I just think he's irate, or he's frustrated with our campaign because obviously all the state members and the Premier are under pressure due to this decision,’ Trail said.
‘The ETU's position is good riddance because, as I've said before, this union has given him significant resources,’ he said.
‘We believe that Steve Wettenhall would not be in power now if it wasn't for the resources provided to him by the ETU.’
‘Those resources were provided based on commitments that were given to us before the election about a no-privatisation strategy.’
ETU assistant secretary Allen Hicks said Wettenhall had received considerable support from ETU members during the 2006 and 2009 election campaigns.
‘We elect and pay our politicians to think, not just to toe the line like this,’ he said in a statement.
‘Trained monkey could do it’
‘If that is all there is to this political job then a trained monkey could do it.’
‘Now that Wettenhall has turned his back on ETU members, he should not be surprised if they turn their back on him in the future.’
Another MP who is an ETU member, Jason O’Brien, said he was comfortable about remaining in the union and that people often had differences of opinion.
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