IR changes - battles continue

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IR changes - battles continue

Some recent battles over the Government's proposed IR changes include: workers got $13 to appear in Govt’s IR ads, boss gets $7,500; States demand to be shown the IR legislation; IR changes will hit the living standards of pensioners said Della Bosca; and unions back campaign to get two Senators to block IR laws.

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Some recent battles over the Government's proposed IR changes include: workers got $13 to appear in Govt’s IR ads, boss gets $7,500; States demand to be shown the IR legislation; IR changes will hit the living standards of pensioners said Della Bosca; and unions back campaign to get two Senators to block IR laws.  

Workers got $13 to appear in Govt’s IR ads, boss gets $7,500 

Some workers in the Federal Government’s IR television ads received a payment of $13 for their efforts, while the employer is alleged to have been paid $7,500.

A transcript of an A Current Affair interview with some of the workers from Calbah Industries in Melbourne indicates that the $13 was a two hour overtime payment from the employer, without penalty rates. 

Worker Cameron Meadows said he had no idea the ads were for the Federal Government, but thought they were for WorkSafe. 

A transcript of the interview released by Opposition IR spokesman Stephen Smith records Meadows as saying he felt ‘a bit used’. 

He said he understood the employer got $2,500 for the location and a further $5000 for allowing the ads to be filmed. 

Meadows said Calbah Industries did not pay penalty rates.

‘The award states you are entitled to penalty rates and I was full-time there for six months and every hour I worked over 36 hours was just a flat rate,’ he said.

The transcript quotes employer Chester Baker as saying he paid ‘my guys an agreed wage’.

A Current Affair said Baker claimed he pays his workers above the award but wouldn’t say how much he was paid for the filming of the commercial..

Meadows said he had since left Calbah Industries for ‘a better position, more money and overtime rates, ha’. 

ALP comment

Shadow Minister Smith said the Howard Government’s industrial relations television advertising campaign is ‘inherently dishonest, with the advertisements portraying outcomes entirely different to the reality of the Government’s proposals’.

 

‘It is now evident that the pretence of employing onsite workers for the production of these adverts was also inherently dishonest,’ he said.

Smith said the first night the Howard Government’s industrial relations television ads were run cost the Australian taxpayer $1.7million.  He said its newspaper ads currently cost the Australian taxpayer $1 million a day

States demand to be shown the IR legislation  

The State industrial relations Ministerare demanding the Federal Government honour a promise to show them the new IR legislation before it is introduced to Parliament. 

NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, John Della Bosca, today called on the Federal Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews to honour his commitment to meet with State and Territory Ministers to discuss new workplace draft legislation.  

Promise from Andrews

Della Bosca said that at the last Workplace Relations Ministerial Council meeting in Melbourne on 5 August 2005, Andrews agreed to show the legislation to the States before its introduction.

‘It took sustained questioning from the States, particularly from South Australian Minister Michael Wright, but Andrews did agree to brief the State Ministers,’ Della Bosca said.

‘Industrial relations is a shared power in the Australian Constitution, which is why every Commonwealth government has consulted the States on these matters for over a century,’ he said.  

‘Given the radical nature of the changes being proposed by the Commonwealth and their profound effects on the States and Territories, I have written to Andrews asking him to acknowledge his commitment and set down a time and place.’ 

Della Bosca said Andrews has briefed employer associations, but has avoided briefing the states ‘who run the systems used by millions of Australian workers and their families’.

He said NSW had the only State Opposition in the country which had agreed to hand over its industrial relations powers.  

‘The Western Australian Liberal leader defeated the Prime Minister on the floor of the Liberal Party Federal Council on these industrial relations changes, while the Queensland Opposition Leader described WorkChoices as “stupid”.

IR changes will erode the pension, says Della Bosca  

The Federal Government proposed IR changes will hit the living standards of pensioners, NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca said today.

Della Bosca told the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association annual conference that the pension is currently benchmarked at 25% of male total average weekly earnings. 

‘Not only will the Prime Minister’s changes strip down awards and reduce the wages for people currently in the workplace, they will also erode the pension,’ he said. 

‘AWAs that can offer no penalties and other entitlements will limit wages growth and reduce the living standards of Australia’s 3.5 million pensioners. 

‘New Zealand went down this road and wage increases halved – that is a result Australia’s pensioners should be very concerned about.’ 

Unions back campaign to get two Senators to block IR laws  

NSW unions are backing a campaign to lobby National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce and Family First Senator Steven Fielding not to support the Federal Government’s IR changes.

The campaign is being run by the new political action group GetUp. 

The UnionsNSW web site LaborNet has a link to the GetUp site, where workers can send emails to either Senator explaining their concerns on the legislation, which is due in Parliament at the end of this month. 

GetUp website

The GetUp website says the two Senators hold the key to the legislation.

‘John Howard needs the vote of either National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce or Family First Senator Steven Fielding to pass these laws,’ GetUp says. 

‘Both men have serious concerns about the government’s legislation, but are coming under heavy pressure to support the laws.’

For further information see the GetUp website.

Related 

Federal IR changes 2005

 

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