Thousands more Australian workers will be hurt by the loss of pay and conditions while the Liberals continue to delay a new law to ban AWA individual contracts and begin dismantling of Work Choices said the ACTU.

Commenting on the announcement today by Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations Julie Bishop that the Liberals will continue to delay the passage of a ban on new AWAs until at least May while also seeking a three year extension of individual agreements (ITEA), ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:

“Every day the Liberals delay the scrapping of AWAs more and more working families are being hurt.

“This week we have another example of workers facing a pay cut of $300 a week under Work Choices AWAs.

“Nearly 200 Workers at Qantas valet parking across Australia, some of whom have worked there for 20 years, have been sacked and then offered their jobs back under a new contractor with the loss of pay and conditions of up to $300 a year.

“Today we heard weasel words from Shadow Minister Julie Bishop that show the Liberals are still trying to find a way to keep Work Choices alive.

“The Liberals are trying to extend the life of individual contracts in the transition period for five years and are still using the pretext of a Senate Inquiry to hold up the first stage of Labor’s plan to scrap WorkChoices until after May.

“Even then, there is still no guarantee from Liberal Minister Julie Bishop that the Liberals won’t use their Senate majority to block the Labor Govt’s move to ban new AWAs and begin dismantling Work Choices.

“Julie Bishop said that she won’t ‘pre-empt’ the Senate Inquiry. This suggests the Liberals are still looking for a back-door way of keeping AWAs and cannot be trusted.

“They are still trying to find any way they can to keep AWAs alive despite the Australian public clearly voting for Work Choices to be scrapped at the last election.

“This shows the Liberals are committed to a system where workers lose pay and conditions and the living standards of working families goes backwards,” said Ms Burrow.