Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones today called on local Liberal members of parliament to come clean with our community about their position on the reported introduction of Workchoices-like changes to industrial relations.
An attack on the Australian worker’s penalty rates, allowances, the minimum wage and other important working conditions have been put forward in the prematurely released Productivity Commission’s issues papers on Australia’s workplace relations laws.
“Workers in the Illawarra need to know what their local Abbott Government representatives think about Tony Abbott’s plan to revive WorkChoices,” Sharon Bird said.
Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones pointed out that during the 2013 Federal Election campaign Ann Sudmalis said she couldn’t respond to questions about workplace policy until after the September 2013 election. Ms Sudmalis had refused to answer whether a Coalition government would re-introduce Work Choices and bizarrely compared the question to fiction and archaeology:
"We are actually not talking about a Stephen King fiction here, we're not digging up bones," she said.
"Any workplace relations legislation is on the table after the election not before, so sorry I can't answer your question.
"It is exactly as it is right now right through to the election and it will be reviewed after the election and that has been made perfectly clear to everybody."
Ann Sudmalis, Meet the Candidates Forum, Bomaderry, 28 August 2013.
“It’s clear Ann Sudmalis was correct and we’re about to see the Abbott Government giving the kiss of life to Workchoices,” Ms Bird said.
“Before the election Tony Abbott promised that workers’ pay and conditions would be safe under his government. This has proven to be another lie and local workers are right to be worried about the Liberal Government’s plans,” Stephen Jones said.
“Will Gareth Ward give Tony Abbott the same message he did on Medicare and distance himself from the Workchoice’s blueprint too or does he support it?
Illawarra’s Liberals should come clean with workers as to whether they support an attack on worker’s pay and conditions.
23 January 2015