Treasurer Peter Costello has today joined Prime Minister Howard and Workplace Relations Minister Andrews and refused to guarantee that no individual Australian employee will be worse off under the Government’s proposed industrial relations changes.
The Treasurer was asked on radio this morning to give that guarantee. Like Mr Howard and Mr Andrews, he refused.
The fact that the Howard Government has consistently refused to give such a
guarantee is a significant warning to LHMU members and all Australian workers
and their families.
The Prime Minister’s persistent refusal to guarantee that no individual
Australiain worker will be worse off under his proposed industrial relations
changes and stands in stark contrast to the “rock solid iron clad guarantee” the
Howard Government gave during the election on the ill-fated Medicare Safety Net.
The Government will break a rock solid guarantee on the health safety net but
not even give a guarantee on a wages safety net.
The Howard Government has opposed every minimum wage rise since coming to
office in 1996.
If the Howard Government had its way, individual Australian workers and their
families would today be $2300 a year or $44 worse off.
Under the Government’s extreme approach, the wages and entitlements of
thousands of Australian employees could be slashed.
LHMU national secretary Jeff Lawrence said it was a critical time for all
“People need to realise that what the Federal Government wants to do is to
interfere in the workplace in favour of employers,” he said.
“This is all about reducing the fairness in the workplace and making it harder for people to enjoy the wages and conditions they deserve.
“Unions around the country are gearing up to fight these proposed changes and
the LHMU will be at the forefront of that campaign.”
In failing to guarantee that no individual Australian worker will be worse
off under the Prime Minister’s proposed changes to industrial relations,
Australian employees and their families have got nothing to look forward to
under the Howard Government, other than having their wages reduced, conditions
and entitlements slashed, and safety nets removed.