New Abbott Government attack on workplace laws

In yet another example of blind ideology driving the Abbott Government agenda, Attorney-General Brandis has announced another inquiry into workplace laws.

In a week when the Government cemented it’s vision of a harsher, less equal Australia with its unprecedented attack on the ‘fair go’, we are now faced with a Law Reform Commission inquiry into rights at work, ACTU Assistant Secretary Tim Lyons said.

“The Government has already made it very clear that it is going after the wages and conditions of hard working Australians and now rights at work are in the firing line,” Mr Lyons said.

“They are going after penalty rates, they’re going after rights at work and their assault on welfare, Medicare, education and young people represents the biggest attack on the social wage this country has ever seen.

“This Government has made it clear to hardworking Australians and their families that their lives will get harder at the same time that big business and the wealthy get a free kick.

“In their latest attack on ordinary Australians, Senator Brandis has singled out fundamental workplace rights such as rights to representation, rights to organise and rights to take industrial action for review.

“It is deeply hypocritical that the terms of reference for this inquiry express concern about laws that restrict “traditional” legal protections like the right to silence at the same time as the Government is trying to force through the ABCC legislation that abrogates those rights for building workers.”

Mr Lyons said there is a huge overlap between the Australian Law Reform Commission review of Commonwealth Laws for Consistency with Traditional Rights, Freedoms and Privileges and the proposed Productivity Commission inquiry into the Fair Work Act for no obvious reason.

“This just proves that the Government is bereft of a positive agenda so is instead spending its time pushing an ideological agenda that will ultimately deliver for their big business mates that want to ride roughshod over working people,” Mr Lyons said.

“This is now the third inquiry into workplace relations and unions from a Government that promised to get rid of red tape.

“Reviewing laws which fail to allow the protection of reputations while using Royal Commissions to damage political enemies is similarly hypocritical.”

Download this media release: Brandis’ inquiry into workplace laws

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