WorkChoices - news wrap 14/11/05

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WorkChoices - news wrap 14/11/05

Recent news surrounding the proposed WorkChoices legislation: union day of inaction will be largely irrelevant says business; advice to VECCI members on union rallies; women and lowly paid will hurt most: Democrats; and Family First on workplace legislation changes.

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Recent news surrounding the proposed WorkChoices legislation: union day of inaction will be largely irrelevant says business; advice to VECCI members on union rallies; women and lowly paid will hurt most: Democrats; and Family First on workplace legislation changes.

Union day of inaction will be largely irrelevant says business

Leading business organisation Australian Business Limited said it expected that tomorrow’s trade union Day of Action will be largely ignored by the mainstream of Australia.

'The trade union movement is becoming increasingly out of touch with the aspirations of Australian workers. Trade union membership is at historic low levels and events such as the Day of Action will only accelerate the decline', said Mark Bethwaite, Chief Executive of Australian Business Limited.

'That trend of falling trade union membership will continue as the trade union movement sticks with a philosophical commitment to the policies of complaint, rather than the policies of aspiration. The increasing irrelevance of trade unions is not the result of WorkChoices rather it is the result of pursuing a view of the world out of sync with modern aspirational workers.

'I expect tomorrow’s Day of Action will be ignored by most of Australia’s ten million workers. The usual group of suspects will turn out, but beyond the public service and construction industries I expect it will be business as usual.

'There will be colourful rallies in the heart of Melbourne and Sydney, but for the most part millions of Australians will head to work as they do every day and ignore the Day of Action.'

Advice by VECCI on union rallies

VECCI advises that unless employers have a specific agreement in their workplaces covering such requests, an employer generally would be under no obligation to allow employees to be involved in tomorrow's rally.

It is understood that the State Government has advised its departments and agencies that it is not appropriate to pay employees who are absent without authorisation, but that requests for leave can be dealt with subject to normal services being maintained.

Women and lowly paid will hurt most: Democrats

John Howard's IR agenda will hurt lowly paid workers the most, said Australian Greens Senator Siewert.

'It will further increase the injustice faced by women, who already receive significantly less pay for doing exactly the same work under individual contracts.'

Senator Siewert released research last weekend which suggests that women and those in low pay positions are likely to be significantly disadvantaged by the government's controversial IR shake up.

The paper titled 'The new industrial relations: portents for the lowly paid,' by Professor David Plowman (UWA) and Professor Alison Preston (Curtin) looks at the likely impacts of 'Work Choices' on wage dispersion and the gender equity.

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025 or email senator.siewert@aph.gov.au  | http://www.rachelsiewert.org.au

Family First on workplace legislation changes

Family First Senator Steve Fielding said Family First is looking at the Government's workplace changes through the prism of families.

Senator Fielding said his concern is how these changes will affect Australian families and what is in the best interest of families. For this reason, Family First has not focused on structural issues such as establishing a national industrial relations system or Fair Pay Commission and making changes to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Family First does not oppose these, Senator Fielding said.

Related

Federal IR changes 2005

 

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