WorkChoices news: Labor and Liberals

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WorkChoices news: Labor and Liberals

Julia Gillard has again defended Labor's plan to let existing AWAs run their course for up to five years despite the ALP's plan to abolish them. Meanwhile Liberal candidate for the South Australian seat of Makin and member of the HR Nichols Society, has said it should be okay for apprentices to be paid less than the minimum wage.

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Julia Gillard has again defended Labor's plan to let existing AWAs run their course for up to five years despite the ALP's plan to abolish them. Meanwhile Liberal candidate for the South Australian seat of Makin and member of the HR Nichols Society, has said it should be okay for apprentices to be paid less than the minimum wage.

Gillard defends AWA delay

Julia Gillard has again defended Labor's plan to let existing AWAs run their course for up to five years despite the ALP's plan to abolish them.

In an interview it was put to Gillard that 'if the Labor Party is opposed to them, why don't you do away with them as soon as you come into office?'

'Well there's a balance here and the balance is between our view of industrial relations and the system we want to create for the future,' Gillard said. 'And giving people certainty in the transition.'

Five years is too long

Interviewer: 'If they are an anathema and you've been campaigning against them, surely five years is too long.'

Gillard: 'Some of them will be for five years, that's the maximum term. But there's a balance here and we made a clear decision about the balance. We wanted there to be certainty. Look, we've never said that we could undo all of the harm that's been done by [Prime Minister John] Howard's laws. What we can do is we can create a system for the future that's fair and balanced. And we can create a measured, sensible transition path to get there.'

Pay apprentices less than minimum wage

Meanwhile, the Liberal candidate for the South Australian seat of Makin and member of the HR Nichols Society, has said it should be okay for apprentices to be paid less than the minimum wage.

In an interview with his local newspaper Bob Day said that 'apprentices currently paid an average of $13.19 an hour, should be free to choose if they wanted to work for less'.

'We've created a no-man's land between zero dollars and the minimum wage, and nobody's allowed in there,' Day said.

Make skills crisis worse

ACTU President, Sharan Burrow said cutting their pay would hurt apprentices and make it harder to attract young Australians to the trades - making the skills crisis even worse.

'Earlier this week, research by Group Training Australia found that the wages for young apprentices are already so low - as little as $6.90 an hour - that many are forced to live below the poverty line and drop out of their apprenticeship before completing, worsening Australia's skills shortage,' she said.

Related

Apprentices 'paid below the poverty line': report

Fast-tracking apprentices will help solve pay issue

AWAs will 'wither away' even if Howard is re-elected: economist

 

 

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