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News flash: ACCI wants to keep Howard Government's Work Choices laws.



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JULIA GILLARD M.P.

Deputy Labor Leader

Shadow Minister for Employment & Industrial Relations Shadow Minister for Social Inclusion

NEWS FLASH:

ACCI WANTS TO KEEP HOWARD GOVERNMENT’S WORK CHOICES LAWS

In a not so surprising move the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, headed by life time Liberal and ex-Peter Reith staffer, Peter Hendy, has once again come out in support of the Howard Government’s extreme Work Choices laws.

The Chamber has today continued to misrepresent Labor’s industrial relations policy in it’s latest paper and makes completely ridiculous claims about the impact of the policy.

The Chamber has made it clear that the organisation will support nothing less than the current Work Choices laws and in fact wants the Howard Government to go further in stripping workers’ rights and entitlements.

The Chamber also opposed the Government’s recent pre election changes, the so-called fairness test, to its Work Choices laws.

The original Work Choices legislation effectively replicated what ACCI desired in relation to minimum standards.

To give ACCI everything it wants following the election, the Government will have to cut personal leave, including carer's leave, by a week and remove any limitation on the maximum number of weekly working hours.

The Chamber has also failed to rule out pushing the Howard Government to abolish the Australian award system entirely.

As explained to the Chamber on countless occasions, Labor’s new industrial relations system is based on enterprise bargaining and therefore bargaining for a collective agreement would have to occur at the enterprise level making pattern bargaining impossible.

Good faith bargaining ensures that employers and employees come to the bargaining table. Under Work Choices, there is no requirement that employers bargain with employees at all.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has taken an extreme position on industrial relations policy and this document is nothing more than Crosby Textor political spin.

MEDIA CONTACT: KIMBERLEY GARDINER 0417 428 123 22 AUGUST 2007