Qld unions join High Court challenge to WorkChoices

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Qld unions join High Court challenge to WorkChoices

The Queensland Council of Unions has joined Unions NSW in a High Court challenge against the Howard Government’s WorkChoices industrial relations laws.

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The Queensland Council of Unions has joined Unions NSW in a High Court challenge against the Howard Government’s WorkChoices industrial relations laws.

The QCU challenge will be supported by two of its affiliated unions - the Queensland Teachers’ Union and the Electrical Trades Union.

QCU General Secretary Grace Grace said unions were taking up the fight to the Federal Government in an attempt to protect workers’ pay and conditions.

‘There is huge concern in the community about the impact these laws will have, and now with the release of the IR laws regulations this concern is justified,’ she said.

‘Workers and unions can be hit with fines of between $6,000 and $33,000 for seeking commitments from employers around job security or fair treatment processes - where’s the fairness in being fined for standing up for your fundamental rights at work?

‘These laws infringe on the basic rights of Australian workers.’

Corporations power at issue

Grace said the High Court challenge will concentrate mainly on issues surrounding the Federal Government’s plans to use the corporations power to override state laws.

‘The Howard Government’s plans to take over state industrial relations systems is a blatant grab for power when there is simply no justification for such action,’ she said.

‘Why abolish a system which is not broke? In Queensland the economy is booming, the unemployment rate is under 5% and industrial disputes are at half the total disputes at a federal level - all this under a state system that provides comprehensive, fair and balanced provisions.

‘There is no valid evidence or justification for the implementation of these laws and I am confident that the Australian community will not accept their rights at work being eroded.’

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