Unions call for rejection of IR Bill

Sunday, 31 January, 2021

Unions call for rejection of IR Bill

National construction, maritime and electrical unions are calling on Senate crossbenchers to reject the Morrison government’s IR Omnibus Bill.

The campaign, launched by the National Divisions of the ETU and CFMEU, encourages union members and the public to tell the Senate to vote against the IR Omnibus Bill which unions say will leave workers worse off, with less pay and with worse conditions if passed.

Union groups say the proposed laws will further diminish the rights of working people in favour of big business. The ETU and CFMEU say this includes:

  • removing workplace rights for casual workers
  • taking away the protection of the Better Off Overall Test
  • removing the right of many FIFO and construction workers to negotiate a collective agreement for up to 8 years.

There are concerns that these new laws will further disadvantage workers who have already suffered job cuts and losses through the current pandemic.

Allen Hicks, ETU National Secretary, said workers did their part to keep the economy strong throughout the pandemic and should not be penalised.

“Australian workers did their part to keep the economy strong through the COVID-19 crisis and it is shameful that Scott Morrison wants to reward them by cutting their pay and conditions.

“The pandemic has shone a spotlight on just how precarious employment can be for too many people in this country. We have also seen that essential workers include not only nurses, aged-care workers, paramedics and health professionals, but also the workers in the retail, transport and logistics, maritime and construction industries that keep the economy moving and supplies flowing when times are tough.

“The ETU and CFMEU work closely in construction, which is the backbone of our entire economy, where workers have fought hard for their pay and conditions and who stand to lose their working rights if these laws are passed," he said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Kampan

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