IR update - news from WA; ACCI; NSW; SA

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IR update - news from WA; ACCI; NSW; SA

IR news continues to build. The WA Government has launched a ‘Less Pay. No Way!’ advertising campaign.

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IR news continues to build. The WA Government has launched a ‘Less Pay. No Way!’ advertising campaign. ACCI has called on Australian employers and employees to ‘see through this week of political propaganda’ by union officials. PM John Howard has no mandate for his ‘radical and divisive’ IR changes according to NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca. The South Australian Government is recruiting 19 more industrial relations inspectors.

WA launches ‘Less Pay No Way’ ad campaign against IR changes

The WA Government launched a ‘Less Pay. No Way!’ advertising campaign yesterday as part of its fight against the Howard Government’s ‘dangerous’ industrial relations agenda.

Premier Geoff Gallop said the campaign was to ensure all Western Australians understand what the proposed changes could mean for them and their families.

Dr Gallop said the government initiated the ‘Less Pay. No Way!’ campaign to inform Western Australians about the impact of the changes on the pay, conditions and job security of the state’s workforce.

He said the government is ‘deeply concerned that John Howard’s proposed laws will have a very serious and negative impact on Western Australian workers and their families’.

‘We are fighting these changes as a matter of priority, to protect fair wages, employment conditions and job security for all employees,’ Gallop said. ‘The government will always put WA first.

‘The Prime Minister must understand that the workers of WA will not stand for less protection, less security and less pay and that the government is right behind them.’

Media campaign

The Premier said the Howard Government’s plans would remove unfair dismissal protection for the majority of workers and reduce wages and conditions by removing the award standard as the safety net for both individual and collective agreements.

He said the Howard Government was also attempting to take control of the state industrial relations system and move the majority of WA employers and employees into the new federal system.

The government’s media campaign will feature radio and print advertising, as well as advertisements on buses in the metropolitan area.

More information on the campaign is available at the 'Less Pay. No Way!' website.

‘Reject union propaganda’, ACCI tells workers

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), has called on Australian employers and employees to ‘see through this week of political propaganda’ by union officials.

Instead they should focus on ‘the real mutual gains that are achieved by flexible and cooperative workplace relations’, ACCI says.

ACCI Chief Executive Peter Hendy has organised for Australia’s leading employer associations to meet in Melbourne today (Tuesday) to further develop industry responses to ‘this narrow minded and self-interested union campaign’.

ACCI is also urging employers to be informed of their legal rights to protect their businesses and the job security of employees should unions take unlawful industrial action during this propaganda campaign.

‘This week of protests by Australian unions against proposed changes to industrial relations laws should be renamed the “Week of Union Propaganda and Self Interest”,’ Hendy said.

True motives

Speaking yesterday at a workplace seminar for the resources industry in Adelaide, ACCI Director of Workplace Policy Peter Anderson said that the ‘great lie’ of the union campaign is the suggestion that a more flexible workplace system was unfair to employees

‘The facts are completely the other way,’ he said.

‘One just has to look at the resources industry; direct relations between employers and employees, either individually or as a group, have created higher wages and better working condition than unions or industrial tribunals could ever deliver.

‘Make no mistake, this union campaign is a misleading litany of fear, not fact.

‘At its core is not the interest of workers, but a fear by unions that they lose power and privilege, if employees and employers are empowered to make decisions in each workplace.’

Liberal vote means PM has no mandate for IR changes, says Della Bosca

PM John Howard has no mandate for his ‘radical and divisive’ IR changes after he resoundingly lost a vote on them at the weekend’s Liberal Party Federal Council, according to NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca.

‘The Liberal Party Federal Council listened to John Howard’s arguments - and rolled him by a two-thirds majority,’ Della Bosca said.

‘The Federal Council has been brave enough to tell the emperor that he has no clothes.’

Della Bosca said the Liberal Party knew there was no pre-election promise for a hostile takeover of state industrial relations systems and not a hint that the safety net would be ‘ripped away’ from Australian workers and their families.

‘Now, the Prime Minister pretends it was a “core promise”,’ he said.

IR plans hatched after election

Della Bosca said Howard’s radical industrial relations plans were hatched after the election, when he realised he had achieved absolute power in the Senate.

‘The Prime Minister’s party doesn’t want this radical plan, nor does every state opposition leader (bar one), while leading businesses have expressed their support for the current state system,’ he said.

‘In the brave new world proposed by Howard, even the best employer will be forced to argue the toss on penalty rates, minimum hours, overtime and public holidays just to stay competitive.

‘Australian businesses should be competing on service and quality - not in a race to the bottom on wages and conditions. No-one voted for or expected that.’

SA recruits 19 more IR inspectors

The South Australian Government is recruiting 19 more industrial relations inspectors, doubling the size of the inspectorate.

The Minister for Industrial Relations, Michael Wright, said the recruitments were part of an attempt by the Government to achieve the lowest number of working days lost per thousand employees in Australia within 10 years.

He said inspectors will provide information and assistance for employees and employers as well as being responsible for investigation and enforcement of the industrial relations law.

There were 144 applicants for the new positions. The successful applicants will participate in an extensive training course.

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