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Greens rally against Work Choices.

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Greens rally against Work Choices.

Senator Siewert, 28th June 2006

Seven months after the Howard government pushed through their radical Work Choices agenda, the first wave of workplace changes are starting to hit.

"We've seen long-term workers being sacked on the spot and offered back their jobs on AWAs with lower pay and reduced conditions," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Job security, the safety net of minimum award conditions, and the very idea of a fair day's pay for a fair day's work have been sacrificed for a flawed ideology." "Highly skilled and well organised workers have been insulated to date by the skills shortage,

but even workers who haven't been touched are worried what will happen when the economy slows," she said.

It is young people, immigrants, semi-skilled labourers and those in part-time or casual work who are literally in the firing line, as these changes hit hardest on those already disadvantaged."

"WA has already experienced how individual workplace agreements can impact on women, with the pay gap between men and women doing exactly the same work widening from 19% to 27% over the last decade," said Senator Siewert. "The race to the bottom is playing out before our eyes."

"The Greens have a vision for workplace relations that we will take to the next election."

"We need to restore the balance in industrial relations. The productivity of a skilled and innovative workforce is the key to the future of the knowledge economy, not lower wages," she said.

Senator Siewert will be available for comment at the Rally in Perth today.

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey 0407 725 025