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Workplace Changes -

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bombarded by the big sell OK, everywhere you look, we're being about industrial relations reform. more choice, more flexibility Government ads insist there'll be for Australian workers. and conditions will be lost. Unions say basic rights One thing is certain. When it comes to job perks, anything. politicians aren't giving up when I go on holidays, I want my 17.5% loading I want my four weeks annual leave, on public holidays I want my penalty rates to say, "Well, no." and the company is purely going

and his engineering mates, For Adam Burgoyne against the bosses at Boeing. it's been a weary battle to end up worse off than before. They signed individual contracts only for more than four months. They've been on strike I am living proof. I have been on it for 3.5 years now renegotiate my individual contract. and I haven't been able to I haven't been able to go up in my remuneration package. and ask for improvements WorkChoices. VOICEOVER: It's called it's all about flexibility, According to the Government, enabling bosses to bargain with workers on things like pay, penalty rates and public holidays. Together they can make the choice. Most nurses are very good nurses. They're kind people, they're not good negotiators. And that's why nursing director Lucille McKenna is nervous. She thinks the Government's changes will be devastating.

I think they are really out of touch. I think they have no idea how hard it is for people to make ends meet.

Wages and pay and protected in this system. Today, Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews was refusing to guarantee no worker will be worse off or shed any light on the cost of those ads, which seem to be everywhere. I don't have the final figure.

I'm not responsible for the actual figure. But you are the man in charge. Don't people out there have a right to know how many of their dollars are being spent on this campaign? Is it more than $30 million? The broader issue of Government info is not part of my responsibility. Is it more than $60 million? Look, it's not the $100 million people have been talking about. They're not the Government's ads, mate, because we are paying for them. And 2UE broadcaster Mike Carlton isn't buying them. Now if they are unskilled, young, just out of school, women, migrants, they can't negotiate that sort of condition with the boss,

with an employer, he has the whip hand. Will your reforms hand more power to the boss, less to the worker? No. If we're expected to have these changes to our workplace condition, where are their changes? It seems to me the worker is being asked to make further sacrifices and there is no clear reason why they are being asked to make the sacrifices. Rob Chalmers is the editor of the 'Inside Canberra' newsletter. He's the longest serving member of the Parliamentary press gallery. One wonders, if a new fair pay setting commission is going to be so good for all other workers, why don't the MPs say, "Righto, if it's that good, we'll take it on. "They can set our wages and conditions." Would you be happy to sign an individual contract? Quite happy to sign an individual contract in the circumstances where I did. Your boss is the Australian taxpayer, so what if they said, "Let's renegotiate on some of the perks you enjoy, "the lifetime pension, special superannuation arrangements, "free travel, study tours, limos, freebies"? You happy with that? Can I get back to the point? The reality is here for ordinary Australians, if we can maintain a strong economy, that's what's going to be to the satisfaction of Australians,

that's what people want. There haven't been strikes in this country for 10 years.

We have been making money, people have been happy with work, it's all humming along and John Howard wants to wreck it for his own ideological reasons. Is it fair to say that Australian workers are being told to grin and bear it while politicians like yourself enjoy every perk under the sun? Standing still, doing nothing, is just not an option for Australia, we have to move forward. If you look a bit deeper, it's actually a wolf in sheep's clothing. Ben Fordham there, and for its part Boeing tells us that 93% of its workforce have not joined the strike and have chosen to stay on their individual contracts. Alright, now let's check out a problem