Last chance to stop WorkChoices 2.0 as IR Bill heads to Senate

4 March, 2021

The federal government’s proposed IR Omnibus Bill has now passed through the lower house, bringing closer moves to increase job insecurity at a time when working Australians need and deserve certainty. The ALP, the Greens, Dr Helen Haines, Bob Katter, Rebekha Sharkie and Andrew Wilkie chose to defend the rights of working people and voted against the Bill. The changes made under the Bill would leave working people worse off with cuts to take home pay and conditions, fewer rights and less job security according to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

Insecure work set to increase under Bill

ACTU President Michele O’Neil said the Bill fails to address the systemic issue of insecure work in Australia. In fact, the Bill will make it easier for employers to casualise permanent jobs. It makes permanent changes to bargaining, making it harder for workers to win pay rises. “The Bill will also strip overtime and certainty from part-time workers the majority of whom are women, enabling employers to flex hours of work up or down with no penalties – effectively creating another class of casual workers,” Michelle said. “Insecure work is going to hold the economy back in its recovery and this Bill will make it worse.

Hurting workers won’t heal the economy

“We should be rebuilding the economy with stronger rights for working people – not hard wiring insecurity and uncertainty into our workplace laws. “At the very time our country needs certainty and confidence, when small businesses are needing people to spend, this Bill will enshrine insecurity and suppress wages for years to come. “It shifts power towards big business and leaves working people worse off. “It is now down to the senate crossbench to decide whether they’ll defend working people against pay cuts and greater job insecurity.”

Member action

IEU members were now calling on Queensland crossbench senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts to use their votes to stop the federal government’s plan to weaken industrial protections and instead protect Australian workers – take action now via the ACTU’s email campaign.


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