Message from secretary

Abbott Attacks Workers Rights

The beginning of 2014 has seen the Abbott Led Liberal Federal Government show their real colours with an attack on workers and their unions.

Firstly, there was the re-introduction of the ABCC legislation to stamp out criminal behaviour in the construction industry. Even though the ABCC is an industrial body and has no power to act on criminal matters. From initial indications the ABCC is not about protecting workers rights it is about protecting boss's profits.

The federal Government's establishment of the royal commission into unions is another attack on workers rights. The royal commission will aim to weaken and demonise the union movement through a smear campaign and increasing red tape on union's processes so they spend all their time doing paperwork.

The next attack on workers will be through the productivity commission review of the Fair Work Act. The leaked terms of reference show that everything is up for grabs - your penalty rates, your redundancy, and your wages.

These attacks are happening alongside a media campaign to blame workers entitlements for Holden, Toyota, SPC Ardmona and Qantas job losses, as well as the overall decline of the economy. How about the excessive salaries of management? Why are workers rights the first thing attacked when a company is performing badly? Could it possibly be bad management?

The Federal Government may not be saying workchoices but their actions are attacking workers right just like workchoices did.

However, Abbott has taken some lessons from the workchoices election defeat. He doesn't want a union campaign to bring down another conservative government so he aims to weaken the unions ability to run a campaign.

Abbott aims to weaken unions by tying them up in paperwork so they can't do their real business of protecting workers rights. The Liberal Government aim to take away the unions capacity to fund a national campaign. While also attacking the unions rights to represent workers on-site through changes to right of entry.

It may get tougher on-site but the union plans to continue to fight for our members and will not take a backward step. We must stay united and remember we built this nation.