IR is big issue in 2007 election

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IR is big issue in 2007 election

With the 2007 election campaign now officially under way, Labor leader, Kevin Rudd, has come out swinging against the Coalition, accusing it of 'using and abusing' its Senate majority to introduce the 'harshest' IR laws in the nation's history.

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With the 2007 election campaign now officially under way, Labor leader, Kevin Rudd, has come out swinging against the Coalition, accusing it of 'using and abusing' its Senate majority to introduce the 'harshest' IR laws in the nation's history.

Prime Minister, John Howard ended months of speculation yesterday, finally calling the election on 24 November.

In his speech, Howard alluded to the widely held opinion that the poor polling over the last year is largely attributed to WorkChoices by saying 'the right leadership is prepared to take unpopular decision in the short term that will benefit the Australian community in the long term'.

He also warned against union dominance under a Labor Government, citing over 70% of ALP Shadow Ministers are former trade union officials.

In his response to the election announcement, Rudd hammered home the effect of the Government's IR laws - stripping away penalty rates, overtime and basic conditions - and once again pledged to abolish the laws.

'Mr Howard has said that working families have never been better off. Mr Howard's lost touch with working families but Mr Costello has never been in touch with working families,' Rudd said.

'New leadership which gets the balance right between fairness and flexibility in our workplaces. New leadership which keeps the economy strong but ensures the economy delivers for working families.'

Unions and business speak out

The ACTU says the Federal election is an opportunity to protect the rights of working families.

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

Meanwhile, the Business Council of Australia has challenged the major political parties to focus on policies needed to secure Australia's long-term economic future.

BCA President, Michael Chaney, said business taxation and regulation and reforming Federal/State relations were key areas for both political sides to consider.

'Australians have a right to expect that such an important election, coming after 16 years of continuous economic growth, will be a catalyst for the parties to mark out a clear and comprehensive plan for reform for the term of the next Government and beyond,' Chaney said. 'The key policies required for future prosperity remain effective Federal/State relations, nationally coordinated infrastructure renewal, streamlined business taxation and regulation, lifting workforce participation, and outcomes in education and innovation that better meet our future challenges.'

Related 

Rudd's IR plan 'delivers to unions', claims Howard

Rudd's new IR system tramples over unions

 

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