|Issue No 78||17 November 2000|
Vic Opposition Blocks Fair IR Laws
The Victorian opposition is determined to block The Fair Employment Bill which aims to restore fairness for the state's 240,000 workers stuck on low pay.
The Victorian Liberal party's attempt to delay debate on the Fair Employment Bill is an outrageous slap in the face to thousands of low paid Victorians, says the Victorian Trades Hall Council.
"The Liberals are grasping at straws for any reason to delay this Bill," said Leigh Hubbard, Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary.
Responding to the Liberal attempt to delay debate, which was defeated in the lower house of the Victorian Parliament, Mr Hubbard said:
"The Liberals have lied about the implications of this Bill. VECCI is the only employer voice against the Bill. Their wild estimate of 22,000 job losses has been plucked from thin air. They cannot explain how they arrived at that figure."
"The Opposition refuses to help the tens of thousands of people who are stuck with very minimal wages and conditions under Schedule 1A of the Federal Workplace Relations Act. Remember, that there are only 250,000 workers under Schedule 1A ompared to 1.1 million under federal awards and/or agreements which provide decent conditions. The Liberal's determination to protect this small enclave of exploitation is outrageous."
"The Liberals are distorting the contents of the Bill. Victoria is just seeking to establish what other states already have - this is a catching up process."
"The need for more consultation is also a mischievous stalling tactic - the Industrial Relations Taskforce which made recommendations contained in the Bill, consulted widely and employers were part of that process."
The suggestion that unions will have right of entry to any business at any time against the will of workers is scare-mongering nonsense.
The provisions in this Bill mirror the restricted right of entry rule in Peter Reith's own federal legislation. The Victorian Government has to acknowledge international conventions on right of entry in its laws.
his legislation is not a threat to business- around two thirds of employers are already doing the right thing and paying federal award rates or adhering to agreements. In fact many tens of thousands of employers want a level playing field - they are part of the silent majority."
"In attempting to delay this Bill, the Liberals have displayed a complete lack of compassion," said Leigh Hubbard.
"Denis Napthine likes to push the idea that he and the Liberal party are more caring and this was an opportunity to show it. The Liberals have not changed, they are sticking to the Kennett style which is to kick the poor and promote a divided Victoria."
The Victorian Trades Hall Council will be stepping up the campaign to support the Fair Employment Bill, particularly in regional areas before the Upper House debate on December 5th.
Interview: Doubly Blessed
With that unforgettable name, Grace Grace is making her mark as the first female secretary of the Queensland trade union movement.
Unions: On The Line
Trade unions this week entered a landmark partnership with the call centre industry to improve the quality jobs in this growing sector.
History: Conspiracy or Class? The Whitlam Sacking
Never trust a man who wears a top hat and tails in Australia, in Summer. Neale Towart considers this and other evidence of conspiracy in the great shonky dismissal.
Legal: Return Of The Lock-out
Marian Baird reports on the increasing tendency of aggressive employers to use lock-outs to reduce wages and conditions and promote individual agreements.
Activists: Waterfront Hero Bows Out
John Coombs, the man the government compared to Ned Kelly - villain to the bosses, the big land owners and conservatives, folk hero to working Australians - bows out of the union movement next month.
International: Morocco Stonewalls In Western Sahara
Morocco has new king but its old game plan of defying world opinion over its occupation of the Western Sahara continues.
Review: The Identity-Shifting Pragmatist
If New Zealand should have an Australian as its first Labour Prime Minister, then it is only fitting that Australia should have as its first a man who spent much of his formative years across the ditch.
Satire: Hackers Infect Microsoft Computers With Mysterious Windows Virus
SEATTLE, Thursday: Shame-faced workers at Microsoft admitted today that hackers had succeeded in penetrating their network's defences and had installed a sophisticated virus on the Apple Macintosh machines used across the software giant's operations.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005