Union attacks on WorkChoices continue

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Union attacks on WorkChoices continue

NSW unions have launched a 'Fair Employer Scheme' to support businesses reject the Federal Government's WorkChoices system. Meanwhile the ACTU claims new ABS data shows that under WorkChoices average weekly earnings for full-time workers are falling further behind the cost of living.

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NSW unions have launched a 'Fair Employer Scheme' to support businesses reject the Federal Government's WorkChoices system. Meanwhile the ACTU claims new ABS data shows that under WorkChoices average weekly earnings for full-time workers are falling further behind the cost of living.

Unions start 'Fair Employer' scheme

NSW unions have launched a 'Fair Employer Scheme' to support businesses reject the Federal Government's WorkChoices system.

The program calls on employers to endorse five fair employment principles including respecting the right of workers to be union members and not pushing AWAs on workers. Employers who sign up will display a 'Fair Employer' sticker on their shopfront and be promoted on a special website

Target of 1000 employers

Unions NSW says businesses ranging from florists to bookshops and bottle shops to cafes have already signed up to the scheme, which will be promoted by more than 30 local Rights at Work committees across the State.

Unions have set a target of 1,000 employers signed up to the scheme within its first 12 months.

ACTU blames WorkChoices for wages falling behind

The ACTU claims new ABS data shows that under WorkChoices average weekly earnings for full-time workers are falling further behind the cost of living.

ACTU Secretary, Greg Combet, said average earnings in the year to September 2006 dropped in real terms by 1.2%.

'Working Australians have experienced a fall in the value of average weekly earnings of $13 a week as a result of downward pressure on wages and rising living costs,' he said. 'This is the second quarter in row since the new IR laws came in that has seen real average earnings for full-time workers drop below the cost of living for the previous 12 month period.'

Historically low

Combet said the historically low value of average earnings is caused by the Federal Government's new IR laws and a fall in overtime, penalty rate and bonus payments to workers under the laws.

He said the Government's own workplace agency (the OEA) has admitted that two thirds (63%) of AWAs registered under the new laws scrap penalty rates, a third cut overtime pay, half get rid of shift allowances and another third do away with public holiday payments.

'At the same time as workers are facing a fall in the value of their take-home pay, the cost of living is up with interest rates rising twice this year,' Combet said.

Related

Unions will fight ‘undemocratic’ WorkChoices all the way, says Combet

 

 

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