'Labor MPs will set IR policy, not National Conference' says Gillard

News

'Labor MPs will set IR policy, not National Conference' says Gillard

Labor's Deputy Leader and IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard, has made it clear that the Party's workplace policies will be set by its parliamentary members — not by delegates to next month's ALP National Conference.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

Labor's Deputy Leader and IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard, has made it clear that the Party's workplace policies will be set by its parliamentary members — not by delegates to next month's ALP National Conference.

Asked at a press conference whether Labor's IR policies would be known 'before the ALP National Conference where your IR Platform will be approved' Gillard replied: 'Labor's policy is Labor's policy, it is the policy of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.

'It will be announced at a time of our choosing. National Conference deals with Labor's platform, which is the Party's aspirational document, but our election policies will be delivered by the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.'

Warning to unions

Gillard's statement is yet another warning to the union movement that accommodation is going to be made to the interests of business, particularly small business, in order to have a 'balanced' IR policy to take to the next Federal election. She has already repeatedly told the unions in public statements that there will be serious 'consultations' with small business on unfair dismissal legislation.

Left unions are planning to try to force a more hardline policy on the ALP at the conference in Sydney on 27 April. Amongst other things they are pushing for a tougher manufacturing industry policy that protects Australian jobs and the abolition of exemptions from unfair dismissal laws on small business.

The previous Hawke Labor Government pushed on with the introduction of enterprise bargaining despite opposition at the National Conference, with Hawke making it clear that the Parliamentary Party would set policy when in office.

Only a few more minimum conditions

Gillard told a conference in Sydney this week that under Labor the safety net would be expanded, but later explained that the number of new minimum conditions would be 'limited'.

Asked what this meant, Gillard said: 'Limited means limited, it means there will be relatively few in number. We will have more minimum conditions than Prime Minister Howard's system.

'Howard's system only has five and when you look at them, many of them fall away when you hold them up to the light - including, particularly, the hours guarantee which talks about 38 hours averaged over a year, so you could literally work 70 hours this week and two hours next week.

'We want to make sure that the things Australians think they should be able to take for granted, they can take for granted because they are in Federal law.'

Staged announcements

Gillard said Labor will be making announcements about its industrial relations policy right from now to the next election.

'Those announcements will be staged, there will be more than one announcement, so you should expect to be hearing from us continually between now and election day,' she said. 'But we have certainly made this promise, there won't be an Australian in this country who walks into a ballot booth on election day not knowing what Labor's industrial relations laws would mean for them.

'I remind people the last people in the world who would be able to preach on this are the Prime Minister and the current Minister for Workplace Relations, Joe Hockey. This is a government that didn't tell Australians one word about its extreme industrial relations laws before the last election.

More details

'We have already published more details of our industrial relations system than they gave Australians before the last election.'

Related

Labor to offer IR safety net with fewer holes

Howard attacks as Labor woos small business

  

 

Post details