Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Howard government unveils details of anti worker laws

The Federal Government?s new anti worker industrial relations regime will begin next week after Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews unveiled the ?WorkChoices? regulations over the weekend.
UNITE, MelbourneWhile Andrews predicted an ?orderly transition? to a simpler system, the reality is that the new laws will mean wage cuts, longer hours, and more casualisation for working people. The laws are bound to hit young workers the hardest as they are more likely to be working in low skilled jobs and non unionised sectors.

Kevin Andrews denied that the start to the ?WorkChoices? package had been timed to coincide with the Commonwealth Games. The new laws allow for the government to set the minimum wage through the newly established ?Australian Fair Pay Commission? and there is no protection from unfair dismissal. The system also allows for further cuts in annual leave.

These regulations confirm that these laws are for big business and that ordinary workers will suffer. They go so far as to make it illegal for unions or a worker to even ask the employer to be protected against unfair dismissal. The regulations also provided for workers and unions to be fined between $6000 and $33,000. UNITE will continue to fight against these laws calling for more mass protests and industrial action to be a key part of the campaign.