Jun 30, 2005

Only Labor guarantees to protect the jobs of workers in Grayndler

ONLY LABOR GUARANTEES TO PROTECT THE JOBS OF WORKERS IN GRAYNDLER

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese MP – 30 June 2005

Anthony Albanese, Federal Member for Grayndler, has called upon the Howard Government to guarantee that no worker in this area will be worse off under John Howard proposed industrial relations changes.

Mr Albanese said, “These changes will only put families under more pressure, and will benefit no one in the local community.”

John Howard’s plans for workers in Grayndler include:

• Abolishing protection from unfair dismissal for almost 4 million workers employed in companies with less than 100 staff.

• Allowing employers to put workers onto individual contracts that cut take-home pay and reduce employment conditions to only 5 minimum standards – almost 4 million workers who refuse to sign may be sacked without remedy.

• Putting downward pressure on the minimum wage.

"Making jobs less secure will impact on families in Grayndler. These changes are an attack on the living standards of every worker in my electorate.”

Mr Albanese said, “Australian employees and their families have got nothing to look forward to under the Howard/Costello Government other than rising interest rates, higher health costs, higher petrol prices, and at the same time having their wages reduced, conditions and entitlements slashed, and safety nets removed.

“This will be the first in a long line of extreme policy changes by an arrogant Howard Government. With majority control of the Senate from 1 July, it believes it can do whatever it likes. The problem for our local community is that these proposals are harsh and unfair and will reduce their living standards.”

Mr Albanese calls on John Howard to stop this ruthless, power-hungry attack on the rights and entitlements of Australian working families and to adopt Labor’s principles for a system based on fairness and the retention of minimum standards, fair wages and conditions; an effective safety net; an independent umpire; the right to join a union; and the right to collectively bargain.

“The only possible outcome of these changes to the industrial relations system is to reduce the living standards of workers in Grayndler. As the local Member, I will not stand by and let John Howard and Peter Costello get away with this injustice,” said Mr Albanese.