The Guardian 12 October, 2005

Resist the attack on your rights at work

The class war got hotter last Monday with the Howard Government unveiling its lethal workplace changes. At the same time the propaganda war was intensified with PM Howard promoting his anti-worker laws as a godsend for workers and the Business Council of Australia demanding its 100 business members each contribute $100,000 to fund a campaign to promote the Government’s draconian measures.

The fact is the laws are a huge step backwards for Australian workers, providing a profit bonanza for business by ruthlessly increasing the exploitation of labour. Awards will effectively be abolished. The new laws will reduce the living standards of workers and create a US-style system of working poor.

Individual contracts, AWAs, will slash pay and conditions, as many workers forced onto them have already discovered. The laws are intended to take away the right of working people to bargain collectively. The ability of unions to protect workers’ rights, including health and safety, will be severely undermined. This attack is not only against workers — it will hit everyone.

Four million workers employed in businesses with less than 100 employees will lose their access to unfair dismissal laws — their job security will completely disappear. The Industrial Relations Commission will have its power to arbitrate in disputes taken away.

All entitlements workers rightly take for granted, such as annual leave, leave loading, penalty rates and health and safety measures are under the axe.

Biggest ever workers’ meeting — November 15

The ACTU will organise a National Day of Community Protest to protect the rights of working Australians on November 15.

The National Day of Com­munity Protest against the Howard Government’s radical industrial relations changes will include Australia’s biggest ever meeting of workers.

Hundreds of thousands of workers across Australia are expected to participate in the event.

The Australia-wide hook-up will feature a briefing on the details of the Government’s industrial relations changes.

Community rallies and marches will also take place on November 15, in most cases following people’s participation in the national hook-up.

As well as screenings at major venues in all capital cities, the broadcast will be beamed to workers in rural and regional areas.

Local union branches will arrange screenings in clubs, sporting venues, com­munity centres, and other convenient locations.

For further details contact your union or Susannah Greenleaf on 0418 479 455

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