Next year’s review of the Fair Work Act must not become a forum for employer grandstanding, and unions will take a strong interest to ensure the voices of working Australians are heard and that their rights are strengthened.
ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said unions would actively participate in upcoming review, which would serve an important role in dispelling employer-generated myths about the Fair Work Act.
He said the review of the Fair Work Act will be among a number of important issues on the table for unions as they focused on improving workers’ rights at work into the new year, including through the modern award review and the ACTU’s ongoing Secure Jobs. Better Future campaign.
“The employer-led campaign against workplace rights has been building all year, but the review of the Act will expose their self-interested campaign of misinformation for what it is,” Mr Lawrence said.
He also welcomed the Government’s appointment of Reserve Bank Board Member John Edwards, former Federal Court Judge Michael Moore and prominent academic Professor Ron McCallum AO to conduct the review.
“Each of the three experts selected are highly respected in their field and have a mix of experience and expertise that should stand them in good stead to conduct a fact-based review and not be misled by employers,” Mr Lawrence said.
“The Fair Work Act has re-established fairness and rights in the workplace, which WorkChoices took away.
“The Labor Party has shown it is committed to ensuring workplace rights are at the core of its policy agenda, through the development of the Fair Work Act and beyond, including by the decision recently to amend its platform to strengthen the collective bargaining system and ensure workers had enhanced rights to bargain for secure jobs.
“But the outbreak of employer militancy since the grounding of the Qantas fleet shows the Liberal Party and its mates at the big end of town are gearing up for a new attack on rights at work.
“We need better rights at work, not a return to WorkChoices, so the Government must hold strong against this employer militancy. This review of the Fair Work Act will allow employer claims to be tested and we are confident they will prove to be groundless.
“Good, secure jobs matter to all workers and only enhance the economy, which is why the ACTU is now running our Secure Jobs, Better Future campaign. With 40% of the workforce in casual, contract or labour hire employment, unions are determined to campaign for a better future for these workers.”