Oct 14, 2005

Industrial Reforms Just Not Fair



14 October 2005

Yesterday in parliament, it was revealed that thousands of copies of a document outlining the Howard government’s extreme industrial relations changes, were pulped at the taxpayers’ expense.

Anthony Albanese MP, Federal Member for Grayndler, had this to say about the Federal Government’s behaviour:

“The Government printed tens of thousands of copies of a document but then had to pulp them because the pollsters and spin doctors, who they are paying millions of dollars, advised: ‘It’s probably not a good idea to name the document, ‘A simpler national workplace relations system for Australia”. We need to add the word ‘fairer’.”

“Why did they need to get advice to add the word ‘fairer’? Because the concept of fairness is completely absent in these reforms, and it takes a third party to point out its conspicuous absence to the government.”

“This document is just further evidence that the government’s costly advertising is nothing but a propaganda campaign, paid for by the taxpayer, aimed at driving down the wages and conditions of Australian workers and transferring wages straight into profits. This has nothing to do with economic growth. It has nothing to do with productivity.”

“It is just the same old Howard government trick of giving something a name that will do the opposite of what is intended. The Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (More Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 1999, the Workplace Relations Amendment (Fair Dismissal) Bill 2004 and the Workplace Relations Amendment (Protecting the Low Paid) Bill 2003, which make it easier to sack people and harder for low-paid workers to get a decent wage, are earlier examples of this.”

“Work Choices” is simply the next step in this unfair, deceptive government strategy,” said Mr Albanese.

“The Australian Labor Party has made a commitment to fight these extreme, ideologically driven changes, and we will continue to do so even in spite of government spin and propaganda.”