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Tuesday, 8 October 1996
Page: 3647

To the Honourable President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

We the undersigned citizens respectfully submit that any reform to Australia's system of industrial relations should recognise the special needs of employees to be protected from disadvantage, exploitation and discrimination in the workplace.

We the petitioners oppose the Coalition policies which represent a fundamentally anti-worker regime and we call upon the Senate to provide an effective check and balance to the Coalition's legislative program by rejecting such a program and ensuring that:

1.   The full powers of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) are preserved as an independent umpire, including scrutiny of all industrial agreements for employee disadvantage with rights for parties with a material concern to be involved.

2.   The role of the AIRC should be maintained to include making both paid rates and minimum rates awards containing provisions for all employment conditions such as occupational health and safety in settlement of industrial disputes.

3.   That industry standards remain a core element of awards to ensure that enterprise bargaining principles do not put at risk educational conditions and standards.

4.   The right to collectively bargain to reach a Certified Agreement should not be overridden by a subsequent Australian Workplace Agreement.

5.   The powers and responsibility of the AIRC to ensure the principle of equal pay for equal work should not be limited.

6.   Secondary boycotts are dealt with by the AIRC in the current form.

7.   A "fair go all round" applies in relation to unfair dismissals.

8.   Employees choice of jurisdiction is maintained in its current form.

Your petitioners therefore urge the Senate to reject the above proposed reforms to the area of industrial relations.