||Issue No. 156||11 October 2002|
Work and the Meaning of Life
Interview: The Wet One
Bad Boss: Like A Bastard
Unions: Demolition Derby
Corporate: The Bush Doctrine
Politics: American Jihad
Health: Secret Country
Review: Walking On Water
Poetry: The UQ Stonewall
Muslims Snubbed in Discrimination Laws
Workplace Racism Rife Post S11
Qantas Directors Bust Wages Freeze
Dad’s the Word For Steelworkers
Funeral Workers Dig in Their Heels
Unions Expose Truth Of McDonalds’ People Promise
Gay and Lesbians Workers To Meet
VTHC Urges Compassion For Colombian Refugees
New Zealand Workers Win Paid Parental Leave
WorkCover Inspectors Off the Road
Unions On Call For Working Young
Month In Review
The Locker Room
Direct Voting Rights
Iraq is a Gobalisation Issue Too
Letter to George Dubya
WTO and Schools
Labor Council of NSW
Victorian Libs Block Pay Rise
The Federal Awards (Uniform System) Bill would extend the protection of the Federal award safety net to Victoria's most underprivileged workers, who have been denied award protections by decisions of the former Kennett Government.
The Victorian Liberals have announced that they will use their numbers in the State's Upper House to block the Bill. Workers could miss out on pay rises and better conditions such as redundancy pay and carers leave because of the Liberals decision.
"The Liberal Party is punishing some of Australia's most vulnerable and low-paid employees. It is unjust and discriminatory that these workers should be denied the same basic rights as all other employees," says ACTU Secretary Greg Combet.
"The Liberal Party is denying many Victorian employees the minimum protections of John Howard's own federal legislation. The Prime Minister should tell Victorian Liberal Leader Robert Doyle to help bring the State into line with the rest of the country."
The so-called Schedule 1A workers in Victoria are not entitled to basic conditions including penalty and overtime payments, leave loadings, personal, carers and bereavement leave, allowances and redundancy pay.
The Liberals last year blocked the Bracks Government's Fair Employment Bill, which also would have restored award protections to all employees in the State.
"Federal Labor condemns the Victorian Liberals' cruel decision - backed by Tony Abbott - to block fair industrial reforms by the Bracks Government for Victorian workers and businesses," says Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations Robert McClelland.
"Sadly the Victorian Liberals are still dancing to Tony Abbott's tune - unlike the NSW Liberals who declined last week to back Mr Abbott's divisive approach to industrial relations.
"Accordingly, Labor will now move amendments to the Howard Government's miserly Victorian Workers Bill to ensure fairness in Victoria.
"Labor's amendments would empower the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to extend the operation of federal awards across Victoria.
"Victorian businesses who are covered by a federal award are sick of being undercut by operators who can get away with paying the Liberals' miserly minimum wages and conditions.
"If this is how the Liberals treat Victoria, how can they be trusted to run the place?
"Instead of trying to play the part of Mini-Reith, Tony Abbott should do the right thing by Victoria's workers and businesses and support Labor's approach," says McClelland.
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