WorkChoices complaints underline High Court challenge, says Premier

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WorkChoices complaints underline High Court challenge, says Premier

NSW Premier Morris Iemma says the growing damage to workers’ entitlements caused by the new WorkChoices laws has demonstrated the significance of the current High Court challenge to the legislation.

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4/06

NSW Premier Morris Iemma says the growing damage to workers’ entitlements caused by the new WorkChoices laws has demonstrated the significance of the current High Court challenge to the legislation.

Iemma said more than 20,000 people have called a State Government advice line since the laws began less than six weeks ago, with many complaining they had been stripped of their penalty rates.

‘Workers are being pressured into signing agreements that slash already low wages through the abolition of entitlements like penalty rates and overtime or face the sack,’ Iemma said.

The recent Easter and Anzac Day holidays had exposed the extent of the practice, he said.

Calls to Fair Go Advice Line

Iemma said calls received by the Fair Go Advice Line, operated by the NSW Office of Industrial Relations, included:

  • Staff at an East Hills fast food franchise being told they will no longer get penalty rates for the Easter holidays or any future weekends or public holidays;

  • An apprentice baker from Charlestown, whose father called after his son was asked to sign an ‘enterprise agreement package’ that included nine hour days and weekend and public holiday shifts without penalties;

  • A beautician from Penrith told she and her workmates had been rostered for shifts over Easter with no penalties; and

  • An apprentice with a café in Wollongong, told she’d no longer be paid penalties.

‘These cases demonstrate why NSW is spearheading the High Court Challenge,’ Iemma said.

The Fair Go Advice Line can be contacted on 131 628.

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