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Fuse now burning on industrial relations.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Murray Democrats Senator for Western Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Workplace Relations

Dated: 27 March 2006

Press Release Number: acteskny Portfolio: Workplace Relations

More from Senator Andrew Murray on Workplace Relations

Fuse Now Burning on Industrial Relations

With the Work Choices Act and regulations becoming law today, the fuse has been lit on the industrial relations bomb that will damage the Australian workplace, economy and society, according to the Australian Democrats. Democrats' Workplace Relations spokesperson, Senator Andrew Murray, today warned Australian workers to be alert and alarmed by the national industrial relations rules that take effect today. "Today your workplace may look the same but its foundations have been radically altered. The Coalition Government has eroded employee protections, choice, flexibility and security and planted a legislative bomb that will finally explode in 2008," Senator Murray said. "Transitional arrangements and the continuing validity of many existing workplace agreements has provided the Coalition Government with a two-year impact buffer. Prime Minister John Howard is a savvy politician little industrial relations bombs will go off but the big one will not explode before the next election. "Mr Howard has consistently refused to guarantee that no worker will be worse off because he knows that poor, disadvantaged or powerless workers will be adversely affected." Senator Murray said it is noteworthy that the Coalition Government has failed to provide any empirical economic justification for the reform. "The Coalition Government generally goes to great lengths to tie and then promote economic windfalls to reform agendas but not on this one. The glaring omission again reveals the Work Choices reforms to be nothing more than faith based an obsession that will hurt many Australians," he said. "Regrettably, the only economic benefit will be a shift from workers pockets to business profits." Senator Murray said the reality is that in 2006/07 it is possible just thousands of Australian workers will feel the impact of the Work Choices reforms. "It is only when the industrial relations bomb explodes in 2008 that Australians in general will finally become aware of the fact that there is now no maximum weekly hours, no entitlement to a stable income, no meaningful entitlement to overtime payment, no access to modern work and family practices, no job security, no right to collectively bargain and no entitlement to penalty rates for working public holidays," Senator Murray concluded.