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Industrial relations amendments welcomed - Democrats

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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT BELL Australian Democrat Senator fo r Tasmania

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AMENDMENTS WELCOMED - DEMOCRATS = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

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Australian Democrats Industrial Relations spokesperson, Senator Robert Bell welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister and Senator Cook that the federal government will introduce legislation to facilitate the ability of the federal industrial relations commission to hear state cases of industrial dispute.

"All Australian workers will now have the security of being shielded from the worst excesses of zealous, vindictive State governments, bent on limiting the options of employees.

"Since the first hints of the Coalition's IR program, I have consistently expressed concern that there has not been sufficient explanation of the mechanism by which minimum standards could be altered in the future. With the removal of the jurisdiction of the Victorian IRC, the only vehicle for altering basic wage rates in Victoria would be the Liberal Cabinet! ยท

"The government's proposals will now ensure that victims of the Kennett excesses will have recourse (to the federal I R C ) .

"The Democrats will of course be carefully examining the federal legislation to ensure that there will be proper democracy in the workplace. We will be looking for opportunities to ensure that secret ballots take place before union action.

"It is obvious that this legislation has been prepared in response to the indefinite Hewson/Howard threats and the immediate Kennett excesses. The Democrats will carefully examine the legislation to ensure that it is not an over reaction to the

risky Victorian situation. We will adopt our usual responsible position to safeguard the interests of employers and employees.

"The Democrats are also optimistic about the proposals to implement relevant ILO standards with regard to equal pay, redundancy rights and the prevention of victimisation at termination.

Comments Robert Bell 062 773 773

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