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Minchin flags more draconian IR laws on the way: Greens.

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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Minchin flags more draconian IR laws on the way - Greens

Senator Brown, 8th March 2006

Nick Minchin's discussions with the HR Nicholls Society must be taken as those of a minister representing the government's view, not his personal views. The government's intention is to further dismantle the award system and what's left of worker protection in Australia, Greens leader Bob Brown said today.

"The outcome will be lower income for the poor and higher income for the rich. The recent changes are bad enough. How can the government contemplate further hurting low paid workers and their families?" Senator Brown said in Adelaide, where he is supporting the Greens campaign to elect Mark Parnell to the upper house.

The government's changes to industrial relations law (Work Choices) have:

• significantly eroded the protections for workers, in particular for the lowest paid workers with little bargaining power; • begun to dismantle the award system by prohibiting the AIRC from making new awards and reducing the conditions or allowable matters that awards may

cover, and by removing the commission from the role of setting minimum wages; • by forcing other vulnerable workers to sign individual contracts - where this is all an employer is offering new employees - which have a much weaker safety

net because the government gutted the 'no disadvantage test'; • limiting workers on AWAs to the new five minimum conditions, not the relevant award; and • establishing a taskforce to see how it can further weaken the award system.

A third wave of industrial relations reforms implies the potential for the government to put in place US style minimums; $5.15 an hour (approximately $A8) and 2 weeks annual leave and unpaid sick leave and to place further restrictions on unions, Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

Created by Administration Last modified 08-03-2006 01:33 PM