Work Choices out, Fair Work in

Australian workers will be breathing a sigh of relief over industrial relations policy this week, with the introduction of Labour’s Fair Work bill, to replace the hugely unpopular Work Choices of John Howard’s government.

Australian Council of Trade Unions President Sharan Burrow said the bill marks an historic turning point to restoring workers’ rights after a decade of attacks by the former Coalition Government.

Burrow said union expectations of the legislation included:
•    Strong rights for workers to collectively bargain and be represented by their union
•    An industrial umpire with powers to settle intractable disputes
•    Unfair dismissal rights for all workers
•    A fair and transparent process for setting minimum wages

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