IR tempts swinging voters to Labor, ACTU claims

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IR tempts swinging voters to Labor, ACTU claims

A poll on the issue of industrial relations in the Queensland Federal seat of Bowman shows IR is a key issue and will drag swinging voters away from the Government, according to the ACTU.

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A poll on the issue of industrial relations in the Queensland Federal seat of Bowman shows IR is a key issue and will drag swinging voters away from the Government, according to the ACTU.

The poll of 200 swinging voters was conducted for the Electrical Trades Union and showed the Howard Government's IRlaws are the number one issue for working people, for men, and for people with mortgages.

Visiting the electorate, which is currently held by the Liberals with a 9% margin, ACTU Secretary, Greg Combet, said the people of Bowman are 'worried about the effect these laws are having on their communities'.

'This polling shows that IR laws is a first order issue for voters in Queensland and that voters know the IR laws are hurting working families,' he said.

Attack has 'backfired'

'What these results show is that John Howard's attack on the rights of workers has backfired. IR is the number one issue for working families, particularly those trying to meet home loan repayments.'

Combet said the poll showed 57% of the swinging voters in the seat said that they are more likely to vote Labor because of the IR laws and only 9% said they were more likely to vote Liberal.

'Of the people polled who voted for the Liberal Party or the National Party at the last election, 47% said the IR laws made them more likely to vote Labor and only 15% said they were more likely to vote Liberal,' he said. 'At the same time, 44% of swinging voters are saying that they will vote for Labor, up from 28% at the last election. But John Howard has continued to act on advice from big business and followed an ideological course on industrial relations that ignores fairness and the rights and needs of working Australians.'

Statistics 'a worry'

Combet said the Federal Government's own statistics 'give people reason to be worried about the effects of these laws'.

'Of the AWA individual contracts made under the new laws, 63% abolish penalty rates, 64% abolish annual leave loading and 51% abolish overtime pay,' Combet said. 'The Government's IR laws are making it harder for working families many of whom are already struggling just to keep their heads above water.'

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