ACTU Rights At Work
Today is Labour Day in Queensland and Northern Territory, Australia, a public holiday celebrating the establishment of the eight hour day – eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for sleep. Here in Australia the labour movement marks as a milestone the march of Melbourne stonemasons and building workers in 1856 to successfully campaign for an eight hour day without loss of pay. ACTU is campaigning in 2007 to end the move towards the Howard Government’s new employment laws.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has a strong television advertising campaign fighting Industrial Relations law reforms brought in by the Howard government.
Cuts, Cuts, Cuts
This ad, released on March 4, 2007, presents documentary evidence from the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) showing that most AWA individual contracts being made under the new IR laws are cutting important work conditions.
The OEA evidence shows that of the AWAs surveyed:
51% cut Overtime Loadings;
63% cut Penalty Rates;
64% cut Annual leave loading;
46% cut Public Holidays payment;
52% cut Shift Work Loadings;
40% cut Rest Breaks;
46% cut incentive based Payments and Bonuses;
48% cut Monetary Allowances (for employment expenses; skills; disabilities);
36% cut Declared Public Holidays;
44% cut Days to be substituted for Public Holidays or a Procedure for such Substitution
Boys in the Boardroom
Launched on 14 March, 2007, this ad suggests that the new IR laws make it possible for company executives and board directors to legally grow their profits by slashing the rights of their workers. ACTU Secretary Greg Combet, said, “The Howard’s Government’s IR laws are a huge free kick for big business at the expense of Australian working families. This TV ad shows how working people are having their award conditions scrapped and take home pay cut under the new IR laws.”
On March 27, on the anniversary of the new IR laws, the ACTU released results from national polling which showed that voters overwhelmingly rejected the Howard Government’s push to put workers on to AWA individual contracts. They said that the majority of Australians wanted to see the government restore unfair dismissal laws and collective bargaining rights for workers.
‘Sitting Ducks’, the third television ad for 2007 highlights how over time all Australian workers will be affected by the Government’s IR laws.
“The Howard Government says the IR laws won’t affect you unless of course you’ve lost your unfair dismissal rights, you’re given an individual contract, you’re going for your first job, your employer’s cutting costs, or you’re changing jobs. The new IR laws have made millions of working families sitting ducks.