WorkChoices hitting Howard in the polls, says Labor

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WorkChoices hitting Howard in the polls, says Labor

Labor's massive lead in the latest opinion poll shows Australians are rejecting Prime Minister John Howard's extreme WorkChoices laws, deputy Opposition leader and IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard, said today.

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Labor's massive lead in the latest opinion poll shows Australians are rejecting Prime Minister John Howard's extreme WorkChoices laws, deputy Opposition leader and IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard, said today.

Today's Newspoll in The Australian shows Labor with a two party preferred lead of 59% to 41%. Labor also has an extraordinary 51% of the primary vote.

Not taking election for granted

At a press conference this morning Gillard said Australians were 'embracing Labor's better and fairer alternative' IR policies. However she said polls go up and down and Labor was not taking the election for granted.

'On the question of industrial relations, it's a scare campaign a day from the Howard Government,' she said.

Scare campaign

'Knowing they can't defend their extreme WorkChoices laws, each and every day they try to run a new scare campaign about Labor's policy. Like all good scare campaigns, what they're saying isn't true. 

'Howard today is trying to say Labor's unfair dismissal laws would hurt small business. But today there is a survey by Sensis of small and medium size businesses, and those businesses themselves say, more than 80% of them, that unfair dismissal laws would have no impact on their business. 

'So it's not Howard's voice we should be listening to, it's the voice of small businesses, more than 80% saying unfair dismissal laws would have no impact on their business.' 

Gillard said Workplace Relations Minister, Joe Hockey, is 'in the scare campaign business as well'.

Penalty rates claim 'silly'

'Hockey is claiming that under Labor's system, employees won't have the benefit of penalty rates and overtime.  This is as silly as all of Hockey's other scare campaigns.

'Under Labor, workers earning less than $100,000 will have the safety net of awards, awards will deal with issues like penalty rates and overtime and no one will be able to rip those award conditions away.  This is a stark contrast to WorkChoices, where award conditions can be ripped away and they're still being ripped off Australians today.' 

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