The ACTU has welcomed newly elected Federal Labor leader Mark Latham and is looking forward to working closely with him to develop policies to improve the living standards of working families.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow today congratulated Mr Latham on his election and urged all Labor MPs to unite behind him to defeat the Howard Government.

‘The ACTU and unions are focused on working with the ALP on policies to rebuild Medicare and public education, to provide accessible child care and paid maternity leave and to improve the incomes and job security of low paid and casual workers.’

Ms Burrow said that Mr Latham had indicated his enthusiasm for working with unions to advance the interests of working people and their families.

‘The Howard Government must be defeated to stop the dismantling of our public services, the erosion of basic working conditions and the growing inequality in our society.’

‘I urge Labor MPs to unite behind Mr Latham to work for an ALP Government that can implement policies for a fairer and more decent society,’ Ms Burrow said.

The Labor Caucus earlier today elected Mr Latham as Federal Opposition Leader after Simon Crean resigned from the position.