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ACTU campaign: your rights at work.

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ACTU Campaign Your Rights at Work

27 June 2005 Here is a short summary of the Federal Government's plans to change Australia's workplace laws. (Revised 1 June 2005)...

From July 1 2005 the Federal Government will take control of the Senate giving it a majority in both houses of federal parliament. For the first time since he became Prime Minister, John Howard’s Government will be able to pass whatever laws it likes without them being blocked or changed by the Senate. The Government has announced it will use these new powers to rewrite Australia’s workplace laws and take away most of your basic rights at work.

So what changes is the Howard Government planning for Australia’s workplaces?

1. Abolish protection from unfair dismissal for 4 million workers employed in companies with less than 100 staff

2. Allow employers to put workers onto individual contracts that cut take-home pay and reduce employment conditions to only 5 minimum standards - workers who refuse to sign may fear being sacked

3. Change the way minimum wages are set to make them lower

4. Effectively abolish the award safety net and replace it with just 5 conditions:

a minimum hourly rate of pay (currently $12.60) 8 days sick leave 4 weeks annual leave unpaid parental leave weekly working hours

Many workers will lose conditions like weekend, shift and public holiday rates; overtime; redundancy pay; allowances; and casual loadings.

5. Keep unions out of workplaces and reduce the capacity for workers to bargain collectively with their employer

6. Take away the powers of the independent Industrial Relations Commission

What do these changes mean for you?

The Government’s plans will mean lower living standards for working people

Unions believe that the changes proposed by the Howard Government threaten the basic rights, pay and entitlements of Australian workers.

These changes will benefit business at the expense of Australian working families.

The Government’s plans would make it harder for working Australians to get ahead and take them backwards at a time when many are just keeping their heads above water.

Unions will fight to protect your basic rights at work

Unions have always stood for decent rights and fairness in the workplace.

The changes the Government is proposing will hurt working families.

Unions will oppose the Howard Government’s changes and campaign for:

A strong safety net of award minimum wages and conditions

Proper rights for Australian workers to reject individual contracts and bargain for decent pay and conditions in collective agreements

The right to join a union and to be represented by a union

A strong, independent Industrial Relations Commission to settle disputes and ensure fair minimum wages and conditions

These things are vital to protect Australian living standards, families and the Australian way of life.

How can you help the campaign to protect your rights at work?

Here's how you can help the campaign:

* Tell your work colleagues, family and friends about the Howard Government’s plans by giving them a copy of this flyer.

* Be active through your union - strong unions are the best way to protect your rights at work. For information on Joining a Union

* Grab an ACTU Campaign Pack of information and materials.

* Ask your employer to sign a Rights at Work Charter, and commit to respecting your rights at work.

* Join the ACTU’s national week of union and community action - 27 June to 1 July.

* Let your local Liberal or National Party Federal MP know that you oppose the Government’s plans to take away basic rights at work.

You can also contact your union, State Trades and Labour Council, or call the ACTU Hotline on 1300 362 223.

Authorised by G Combet ACTU 393 Swanston Street Melbourne 3000