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Labor's IR Taskforce to visit Townsville.



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M E D I A R E L E A S E

industrialrelations federallaborparliamentarytaskforce

Monday 20th February 2006

LABOR’S IR TASKFORCE TO VISIT TOWNSVILLE

Federal Labor's Industrial Relations Taskforce will visit Townsville this Wednesday 22nd February to conduct a hearing into the extreme and unfair industrial relations legislation passed at the end of last year.

The Taskforce, consisting of nine Federal Labor Members and Senators, is travelling the country, listening to people and hearing their concerns.

Those attending Townsville are Brendan O’Connor (Member for Gorton), Chris Hayes, (Member for Werriwa), Bob McMullan, (Member for Fraser), Sharon Grierson, (Member for Newcastle), Kate Ellis, (Member for Adelaide) and Senator Steve Hutchins (NSW)

In Townsville, representatives from local community groups, organisations and employees will report on the effect of the new WorkChoices Act 2005. The Taskforce will listen to the concerns of locals and take those concerns back to Kim Beazley and the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.

The Howard Government has passed laws that attack workers' employment conditions and remove protections, such as the right to challenge an unfair dismissal. The laws provide all power to the employer to remove conditions of employment such as penalty rates, overtime rates and shift loading and force workers onto individual contracts.

The Howard Government wants to override State industrial relations laws without the agreement of the State Government.

Under the new laws, small employers will be forced to incorporate, which can be time consuming and costly. A recent survey revealed that the majority of Australian businesses do not understand the Howard Government's workplace changes. This is despite the Howard Government spending $55m on a propaganda campaign.

The Labor Industrial Relations Taskforce will give the people of Townsville an opportunity to have their say.

The Hearings will be held at the CWA Hall on the corner of Denham St and Walker St, Townsville, from 9.30am till 2.30pm on Wednesday 22nd February.

CONTACT: TASKFORCE CHAIR, BRENDAN O'CONNOR, ON 0407-810087 OR 03 8361 6588