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Jobs, rights, fairness at stake for working people this election

05 August 2013 By ACTU

Australians face a stark choice at this election between a government that will stand up for work rights and an opposition which has promised to wind back protections at work and introduce individual contracts.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said working people would be looking for parties and candidates to demonstrate a vision based on fairness and opportunities for all Australians.

"We can see the plans big business has for Australia – cuts to important entitlements like penalty rates, more individual contracts and fewer protections for people at work," said Ms Kearney.

"Tony Abbott has refused to give full details of his IR policy – including the terms of reference for his proposed Productivity Commission inquiry.

"However we know he supports shifting more workers on to individual contracts, has refused to enshrine penalty rates in law and wants to reduce the power of the independent IR umpire.

"We need political representatives who will stand up for the interests of ordinary Australians in the face of pressure from business to cut wages, reduce entitlements and erode job security; not simply do their bidding."

Ms Kearney said that key issues for Australian unions this election included: the protection of work entitlements, job security, investment in infrastructure and support for jobs and training.

"We will be campaigning for a future where we value rights at work and invest in jobs and the industries of the future," Ms Kearney said.

"This government has delivered paid parental leave, a plan for better school funding, action on climate change that supports jobs and industry, a national disability care scheme, increased superannuation and a host of measures to support working people like better pay for community workers and new laws to make sure employers advertise locally before bringing in temporary overseas workers.

"These are great outcomes for working people. We want to build on these reforms with the next government, not put them at risk."

Ged Kearney is available for comment in Melbourne.

Contact: Ben Ruse 0409 510 879 or Eleni Hale 0418 793 885

Contact Details
Name: David Smith, ASU National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400