Abbott needs to focus on real issues facing workers
Type: Media Releases Subject: Federal IR
1 March 2013
Tony Abbott needs to focus on the real issues facing workers and not attempt to avoid debate on the Coalition's plan for Industrial Relations, the ACTU said on Friday.
Media reports today claim that, if elected as Prime Minister, Mr Abbott will refer IR and the Fair Work Act to a Productivity Commission inquiry.
ACTU president Ged Kearney said Australian workers wanted to hear about positive plans to improve conditions and to keep jobs in Australia, not more inquiries.
"Australian workers are facing greater levels of insecurity than ever before and all parties need to develop policies to address those," Ms Kearney said.
"Workers want to hear about the issues that affect their everyday lives, their struggle to balance work and family and to pay the bills.
"Forty percent of workers are in some kind of insecure work, such as casual or contract work, and 25 per cent do not have access to sick leave or annual leave."
"These are major issues in the lives of millions of people, yet Mr Abbott thinks he can simply ignore them."
"Any changes to workplace laws should be focused on giving more security to workers, not less."
"The union movement will keep campaigning to ensure that all parties recognise the importance of maintaining hard-won entitlements and supporting Australian jobs."
"The Coalition will not even commit to enshrining penalty rates in law, at a time when they are under attack from business groups."
Ms Kearney said a Productivity Commission inquiry would be influenced by the same business groups that supported Workchoices, and would become an attempt to reintroduce Workchoices by stealth.
"Mr Abbott needs to come clean on what his real plans for IR are, not try and hide behind the Productivity Commission."
Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0409 510 879
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