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Wages, training and bullying the burning issues on Labor's young workers hotline.

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Nicola Roxon MP Shadow Minister for Children and Youth Shadow Minister for Women

Wages, Training and Bullying the Burning Issues on Labor’s Young Workers Hotline

Over 90 young workers took up the opportunity to speak directly with Labor frontbenchers as part of National Youth Week 2003.

Young workers stretching from WA to Victoria, and from Tasmania to Queensland spoke in detail with Labor about problems that they face every day. M E


“25% of callers wanted to let us know about concerns about their wages, including under-award payments, youth wages and trying to survive on low wages.

“One of the strongest complaints that young people spoke to us about was the lack of effective training, with 20% of callers raising this issue. We spoke to many young workers who were looking to further their skills, but have been given the run around.

“20% of callers also raised issues of bullying, and harassment, with some very concerning cases being reported to the police. Another 10% were calls on health and safety issues and about the same number on roster and hours problems”.

Federal Labor frontbenchers Nicola Roxon MP (Shadow Minister for Children, Youth and Women), Robert McClelland (Shadow Attorney General, Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations), and Anthony Albanese (Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Training) fielded calls on Friday from young workers from across Australia.

“I was also interested that a number of parents wanted to tell me about their kids’ experiences at work,” said Ms Roxon.

“Many young Australians are afraid to speak about problems at work, because they fear that they will be mistreated for raising a complaint.

“And with youth unemployment at 22%, it is no wonder that some young workers feel stuck between a rock and a hard place when they get a rough deal at work.

“These calls show up yet another lie from this Government - the industrial relations system is not giving everyone the protection they deserve at work.

The good news is that the ACTU has committed to continue the young workers hotline (1300 364 022) for any workers that would like help with their problems at work.

14 April 2003

Please note - figures are preliminary until full compilation for a report. For more information call: Nicola Roxon or Matt Nurse on (03) 9687 7355 or 0417 386 535