Greens warn Govt over new IR laws

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Greens warn Govt over new IR laws

The Greens have signalled that Labor’s new IR legislation may have a rocky path in the Senate, saying they will subject the legislation to ‘close scrutiny’.

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The Greens have signalled that Labor’s new IR legislation may have a rocky path in the Senate, saying they will subject the legislation to ‘close scrutiny’.

If the Liberals decide to block parts of the legislation, the Government needs the support of the Greens and the Independents to get it through.

The Liberals are unlikely to hold out for the reintroduction of AWAs, but have indicated they will hold firm in opposing the reduction of the unfair dismissal threshold from 100 to 15.

Vested interests

While the Greens would be unlikely to support this, they could broker a deal with the Liberals over other amendments. AS As soon as the Bill is tabled, there will be an extended period of discussion with interested parties, and all sides of politics will come under pressure from vested interests for changes.

The Greens IR spokeswoman, Senator Rachel Siewert, today described the Government's Forward with Fairness industrial relations policy as ‘simply a continuation of the Howard doctrine’.

‘WorkChoices lite’

‘The more details we hear of the Government's industrial relations legislation, the clearer it becomes that they are delivering WorkChoices-lite,’ she said.

‘Yesterday, [IR Minister] Julia Gillard unveiled her legislation to the State Ministers, who will need to carefully consider what workers will lose before considering referring industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth.

‘State jurisdictions currently provide better protection for workers through comprehensive award systems and superior dispute resolution processes through their industrial relations commissions.’

Kept ‘fundamentals’ of WorkChoices

‘The ALP went to the last election promising to abolish WorkChoices and restore fairness to Australia's workplaces. But instead, since forming Government, they have kept many of the fundamental underpinnings of the Howard laws.’

Senator Siewert said working families are facing tough times ahead.

‘The Government needs to explain how their laws will help provide job security for all workers, how employees can gain more control over their working hours and how Forward with Fairness will assist to close the gender pay gap,’ she said.

‘The Greens will subject this legislation to close scrutiny in the Senate, ensuring it protects the rights and responsibilities that provide dignity and a decent standard of living to all Australian workers.’

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