‘Let workers in on the IR secrets’, Labor tells  Andrews

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‘Let workers in on the IR secrets’, Labor tells Andrews

Labor’s IR spokesman Stephen Smith has attacked Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews for continuing to brief employers on the new industrial system – but not workers.

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Labor’s IR spokesman Stephen Smith has attacked Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews for continuing to brief employers on the new industrial system – but not workers.

Smith was responding to yesterday’s industry breakfast in Canberra addressed by Andrews.

The breakfast was the first of a planned 32 which are aimed at informing ‘employers of the challenges they are likely to face in the near future to deal with their workforce requirements over the next five years and beyond’ – according to Andrews.

Employees excluded


Smith said that in October last year, Andrews and Prime Minister John Howard briefed industry and employer bodies exclusively on the Government’s industrial relations changes before subsequently releasing the details to the Australian people.

‘And while the Minister intends to travel throughout Australia in the coming months “educating” business, there’s no sign of him offering the same access to Australian employees,’ Smith said.

He said there is no excuse for the Minister not sharing with Australian employees ‘the same information on his extreme industrial relations changes that he is happily prepared to give to employers around Australia’.

‘Rather than embarking on a breakfast tour, the Minister would be better off using his time sharing with Australian employees precisely when the bulk of the WorkChoices legislation will come into effect, when the regulations will be made available for scrutiny, and when the Fair Pay Commission will hear its first National Wage Case,’ Smith said.

‘Kevin Andrews has given up trying to convince Australian employees about the Government’s industrial relations changes: Australian employees know it is a massive attack upon the living standards of working Australian families.

‘With recent surveys showing that large numbers of Australian businesses remain unconvinced that the Howard Government’s industrial relations changes will be beneficial, the Minister’s breakfast tour is nothing more than an attempt to retrieve some ground with the business community.’

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