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Maxine McKew lets cat out of the bag.

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Contact: Emma Needham - Media Adviser - 0400 334 091

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6277 7320 Fax: (02) 6273 4115




Thursday, 1 November 2007

Maxine McKew lets cat out of the bag

Labor’s celebrity candidate for, Bennelong, has let the cat out the bag and told the truth - the Coalition’s Fairness Test works.

Rather than parroting misleading lines from the ACTU’s scare campaign - like Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd - Ms McKew has taken the extraordinary step of admitting this morning that the Fairness Test does protect workers entitlements such as penalty rates and overtime.

“I talked to a bloke in Ermington the other day, a young man who works for a small engineering firm. He told me he has just been forced to sign an AWA that has no expiry date. I said, ‘look you’re kidding’, and he said ‘no, I-I had to sign it’, and he said ‘they’re reduced conditions, it was a take it or leave it’, and I said ‘look - that must fail Joe Hockey’s new Fairness Test, you know so you should take that to the relevant authorities.” (ABC 702 - interview with Virginia Trioli 1/11/07)

Ms McKew has admitted the following:

• Workers can’t be forced to sign an AWA.

• AWAs must have an expiry date.

• The Fairness Test protects penalty rates and overtime.

• Workers can go to the Workplace Authority and Workplace Ombudsman for information and protection.

Ms McKew has strayed from the ACTU script and actually told the truth.

It’s time Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and the union bosses did the same.