The peak body for working people has slammed a plan by the Australian Mines and Metals Association to abolish the award system that underpins the working rights of all Australians.

The plan, revealed in the Financial Review on Monday, would see all 122 awards abolished, erasing more than a century of workplace progress for working people.

 Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus: 

“This proposal would take Australia back to the bad old days of the 1870s when working people had no rights”

“It would cut the pay and deny the rights of all working Australians.

“The 2.3 million working people on awards are already among the lowest paid with the least secure jobs.

“And everyone on an agreement or employment contract negotiates from a floor set by the award system.

“The mining lobby are ideological warriors for trickle-down economics who want to boost their profits the expense of working people.

“Their greed is only matched by their insensitivity to damage already done by the 70 year highs in inequality that is the direct result of the failed experiment with this ideology.

“We need an award system that improves with the times so that working people can have more secure jobs and fair pay rises.”