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Government amendments do not fix anti-worker Bill



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HON TONY BURKE MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS MEMBER FOR WATSON

GOVERNMENT AMENDMENTS DO NOT FIX ANTI-WORKER BILL

Changes to the Government’s anti-worker union-bashing legislation do not even come close to fixing this extreme and dangerous Bill.

The amendments to the so-called “Ensuring Integrity” Bill do nothing to limit the grounds for the disqualification of union officials or the deregistration of entire unions.

These could still occur for minor paperwork breaches.

It will entrench he double standard where if a bank breaches the law 23 million times the Prime Minister considers it “a matter for the Board” - but three paperwork breaches could bring down an entire union without the members getting a say.

The Bill still gives sweeping new powers to the politicised and discredited Registered Organisations Commission, which just a few weeks ago was found by the Federal Court to have acted unlawfully in its pursuit of a union.

The Bill still imposes a new test on union amalgamations - giving the Government the power to override the democratic wishes of union members, even though amalgamations are already heavily regulated.

And still, many of these new standards and regulations being imposed on unions through the Bill have no corporate equivalent.

The Bill remains fundamentally unfair.

The Government’s decision to release the amendments late on a Friday afternoon shows that they don’t want media and public scrutiny applied to them.

It’s a desperate and cynical attempt to keep the Australian people in the dark about the laws they want to ram through the Senate within days.

The truth is these laws are not about reining in a few rogue union officials.

The truth is these laws will hurt ordinary workers by taking away their advocates: the organisations that fight for better wages, combat wage theft and exploitation, and keep workers safe.

Labor will oppose this Bill.

FRIDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2019

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