The Barnett Government is following the well-worn path of conservative governments that think slashing public services and jobs is the answer to balancing their books, despite evidence to the contrary, Unions said today.


ACTU President Ged Kearney said it is accepted now that austerity measures do not stimulate economies but rather cause hardship and pain by creating unemployment and taking away vital public services.


“West Australian workers and their families deserve better than this,” Ms Kearney said.


“Savage cuts to public sector jobs and public services hurt communities.

“Australians don’t want to be treated like a number on a balance sheet. They want governments that effectively and efficiently manage budgets in a way that creates local jobs, supports local industry and provides for a better life for all Australians.”

Ms Kearney said Australian workers are being attacked by both State and Federal Governments at the moment.

“The Abbott Government has a clear agenda to strip away workplace rights, wage and conditions from everyday Australians,” MS Kearney said.


“The Government is starting with the Fair Work Amendment Bill in the Senate before it launches a Productivity Commission review of workplace laws with terms of reference that may as well have been written by big business.


“Australian Unions will stand up for workers and decent living standards that Australians want protected.”


Tony Abbott proposed new laws under the Fair Work Amendment Bill will:


  • Strip protections for workers on individual contracts to cut wages and penalty rates

  • Allow workers to be paid with something other than money

  • Make it easier for a boss to rip you workers by having them sign away their right to compensation.

  • Take away workers’ right to strike by allowing bosses to veto industrial action

  • Gives mining and construction employers a special deal to write their own Enterprise Agreements.

  • Make it harder for workers to access and be supported by their union at work.