The Productivity Commission’s draft recommendations would increase inequality, drive down wages, strip workers of many rights and create a less prosperous Australia – they must be rejected by Government.
The ACTU lodged its submission to the Productivity Commission on Friday outlining strong opposition to the severity of the proposals.
Unions were pleased that Mr Turnbull recently said to workers that the Government would not be “threatening their conditions”.
However, that’s exactly what the Productivity Commission is seeking to do and unions call on Mr Turnbull to prove his word and dismiss the recommendations.
The Abbott Government set up the Productivity Commission inquiry as a platform to attacks wages and conditions – and that’s what they got.
The attack on penalty rates alone would result in a two-tiered workplace system with Sunday rates cut for thousands of Australians who work in restaurants, cafes and shops.
Cutting penalty rates for hospitality workers would be the beginnings of a slippery slope where more workers are ultimately expected to work weekend and public holiday shifts for little or no acknowledgement of the personal sacrifice associated with unsociable hours.
The Productivity Commission’s call to slow down minimum wage growth would increase inequality in Australia, driving down wages for all.
And in the context of the 7-Eleven case of shocking exploitation of workers, the Commission’s call to wind back Right of Entry provisions is troubling – unions need improved access to workplaces to stop this exploitation.
Just as troubling are the Productivity Commission’s unjustified proposals to limit remedies for unfair dismissal and impose further barriers to pursuing claims.
The Productivity Commission’s recommendations would shift the balance of power heavily in favour of employers and must be rejected by the Turnbull Government.
The Productivity Commission’s recommendations include:
– Cutting penalty rates.
– Holding back the minimum wage.
– Winding back Right of Entry provisions which assist in stamping out exploitation, abuse and safety issues.
– Introducing enterprise contracts that disempower workers and force them to accept unfair conditions. Low paid workers will be worse off under these hidden ‘take it or leave it’ deals.
– Making it easier for employers to sack staff.
– Undermining the independence of the umpire whose role it is to set wages and make sure workplace agreements leave workers better off.