Union ads attack workers' comp 'experiment'

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Union ads attack workers' comp 'experiment'

Only a week after Labor's poor showing in NSW in the federal election, the State Labor Government is also under attack, with the union movement taking out full page advertisements in newspapers lobbying against proposed changes to the state's workers' compensation scheme.

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Only a week after Labor's poor showing in NSW in the federal election, the State Labor Government is also under attack, with the union movement taking out full page advertisements in newspapers lobbying against proposed changes to the state's workers' compensation scheme.

 

IR Minister John Della Bosca announced last week (see 287/2001) that he would introduce into Parliament on November 27 the reforms recommended by the Sheahan report into workers' compensation. The most controversial of these is the introduction of a 20% whole-of-body impairment before an injured worker could sue at common law (see 210/2001).

The union movement says the protests the Government saw earlier this year which culminated in a rowdy picket outside Parliament House are far from over, and vows it will continue a campaign of industrial action over the issue (see 133/2001). The ads are unequivocal and state: 'From Nov 27 the NSW Government will start experimenting with certain body parts. Yours.'

The ads – and flyers handed out at metropolitan railway stations - encourage workers to email the Premier, Bob Carr, with their concerns over the Government's 'workers' compensation experiment'.

And in the latest edition of online labour journal Workers Online, Labor Council of NSW deputy assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou warns that a Labor win at the next state election, due in 18 months, is 'far from a foregone conclusion'. 'Workers' compensation has the ability to rip the trade union movement's support of the party apart,' he said.

Meanwhile, former Australian Council of Trade Unions President and newly-elected Labor Member for Throsby Jennie George has spoken out about the debate raging in the Labor Party over the perceived need for it to shake free of union influence.

George responded angrily to comments made by ALP frontbencher Carmen Lawrence that the party needed to shake off the 60:40 rule, whereby unions have 60% of the party vote. She is reported as saying the Party could not have it both ways.

'They can't on one hand seek support, assistance and shared understanding from the union movement, and on the other hand treat people with union connections as a brake on progress for the future,' she said.

 

 

 

 
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