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Letter to the editor: workplace relations reforms.

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Senator Sandy MacDonald Senator for New South Wales National Party

Letter to the Editor Workplace Relations reforms

22 June 2005

Dear Editor,

The coming weeks and months will see the union movement and the ALP stop at nothing to spread lies and half truths about the impact of the Coalition Government’s workplace relations reforms on Australian workers.

The Coalition Government's track record on creating jobs and increasing wages reinforces that both Australian workers and employers will be protected under workplace reforms. Since 1996, real wages for workers have risen by 14% compared to just 1.2% under the previous Labor Government.

Workers will continue to have the freedom to choose whether they determine their terms and conditions of employment through collective bargaining or individual agreements.

Workers will not lose their entitlement to redundancy pay and they will also continue to be protected against wrongful dismissal.

The Coalition Government has never disputed or questioned the role or legitimacy of unions and the right of workers to be represented by a union. However, the Government does believe that unions should not be given a privileged and mandated role in the workplace at the expense of others.

Over the last twenty years the relevance of unions to Australian workers has diminished to the point where only 17% of workers in the private sector now belong to a union.

Yours sincerely,

Senator Sandy Macdonald Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate 22 June 2005