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No answers from Howard on Werriwa working dad's no choice AWA.

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Media release

Chris Hayes MP Federal Member for Werriwa

October 9, 2006


John Howard has changed - he is no longer concerned about the issues confronting the mums and dads of Middle Australia.

Today in Question Time in the Parliament I again asked the Prime Minister about Reynaldo Cortez, a Minto man who felt pressured into signing an AWA that cut his wage by at least $200 a week.

My question today followed on from my question to the Prime Minister about Mr Cortez’s AWA on 13 September.

When I asked the Prime Minister on 13 September, he said he would report back to me and the Australian people in the Parliament.

To assist the Prime Minister in providing a timely response I tabled both the certified agreement that Mr Cortez was under and a copy of the unfair AWA.

Almost a month has passed and again Mr Howard had no answers for me, for Mr Cortez or for the Australian people.

Mr Cortez recently described how he felt coerced into signing the wage-slashing AWA:

“I have five children and am the only one working because my wife is taking care of my kids, I felt sick…I couldn’t sleep because of what’s going on…I didn’t like to sign but what would happen to me [if I didn’t]?” (Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser September 20, 2006)

The truth is Mr Howard will not provide answers on Mr Cortez’s wage-slashing AWA because he knows the truth is that working Australians have no choice under these extreme workplace laws.

Mr Howard’s laws are unAustralian and are damaging the families of Middle Australia who build this nation.

Working Australians face the choice of either accepting the unfair AWA or not getting the job while the Prime Minister chooses to ignore their concerns.


Media Contact: Chris Hayes MP 6277 4682 or 0419 203 044