Labor’s IR Taskforce ready to look for the bad news

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Labor’s IR Taskforce ready to look for the bad news

An ALP Parliamentary IR Taskforce is set to tour Australia to gauge the effects of the Howard Government’s WorkChoices legislation and will report to Opposition Leader Kim Beazley and Caucus on 8 May.

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An ALP Parliamentary IR Taskforce is set to tour Australia to gauge the effects of the Howard Government’s WorkChoices legislation and will report to Opposition Leader Kim Beazley and Caucus on 8 May.

The Taskforce will be headed by Victorian MP Brendan O’Connor, who said it had been established to ‘highlight the adverse consequences’ of the IR legislation.

Taskforce to hear community concerns

O’Connor told a press conference the IR Taskforce will travel the country and listen to community groups, churches, unions, employers and ‘most particularly ordinary, Australian working families who will face the brunt of these extreme and unfair laws’.

‘The Labor IR Taskforce has been established to ensure that we highlight the adverse consequences of this Act and indeed the extremism and the unfairness that’s been inflicted upon Australian working people by the Howard Government,’ he said.

Workers worse off in 2006, says Taskforce

O’Connor said that when people return from holidays in 2006 they will be returning to less secure jobs.

‘More than four million Australian workers will in fact return to a job that will not provide them recourse to unfair dismissal laws,’ he said.

‘Many, many workers from this time up until election day will in fact be losing penalty rates, allowances and shift work allowances.’

O’Connor admitted there is a ‘slow burn’ dimension to the WorkChoices legislation.

‘There’s no doubt that as the months elapse there’ll be more and more examples of adverse effects,’ he said.

‘But we believe there will be sufficient evidence over the course of those four months to provide information to substantiate our assertion that this Act is unfair and extreme.’

Election

He said that by the next election Australians workers and families generally will have a clear view as to the consequences of the legislation.

‘I think the majority of employers do not wish to use the extreme provisions of this Bill but many will be forced to do so.’ O’Connor said.

‘The decision for them will be: can they maintain their company when [their competitor] across the road has chosen to embark on the low road strategy - and I think that they will be compelled to.’

Related

Federal IR changes 2005/2006
 

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