Tony Abbott’s review of workplace relations by the Productivity Commission shows the Liberals are determined to introduce WorkChoices 2.0.
The recently released report makes a number of recommendations in relation to, among other things, penalty rates, the minimum wage, unfair dismissal, individual arrangements, enterprise bargaining and the Fair Work Commission.
“The Commission has proposed a two-tier penalty rate system, which Labor will not support and the Abbott Government must immediately rule out, said Graham Perrett MP, Member for Moreton.
“An adoption of this two-tier system would create two Australias. One Australia where some people are fairly remunerated and another Australia where there is a working poor who are unable to sustain a modest, decent standard of living,” Mr Perrett said.
In the hands of this Abbott Government it is also likely to be a two-step approach where one group of workers will have their wages cut - hospitality and retail - before a Liberal-National Party Government moves on to the next – police, nurses, firefighters, doctors and others.
With wages growth at its lowest in 20 years, penalty rates are essential to workers here in Moreton, but Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s Liberals are seeking to attack penalty rates via the Productivity Commission's back-door.
The Government wrote the terms of reference for the review, they specifically directed the Commission to look at penalty rates and the minimum wage.
This is a slippery slope to wholesale cuts to wages and other conditions.
Graham Perrett says Labor will fight Mr Abbott every step of the way to protect the decent working conditions that weekend workers rely on.
Rather than a race to the bottom on wages, Labor believes the Government should focus on jobs and economic growth through investing in skills and training, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Labor will carefully consider this report through that prism, but I cannot support cuts to wages and conditions for Southside residents.
THURSDAY, 6 AUGUST 2015
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