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Employment and Workplace Relations

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Penalty rates highlight the government's attacks on workers

I am very pleased to be speaking today on the Turnbull Liberal government's attack on penalty rates. This is a critical issue for our society. This week is national Anti-Poverty Week. It is a time to take stock of how we are going as the country of a fair go. You only have to look at this government's attacks on penalty rates, which have just been continued in the contribution by Senator Back, to see the challenges we face.

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Greens amendments would make this a truly fair work bill

The Greens amendments are designed to turn what is called a fair work bill into a true fair work bill. Much of what has been put up in this Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 actually is making work less fair for ordinary Australian workers. Although it seems that there have been negotiations going on between the government and the crossbench to remove some of the worst parts of the bill, it looks like we will end up having as legislation something that is vastly unfair to workers.

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Greens introduce bill to help prevent future 7-Eleven style worker exploitation

Greens industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today introduced into Parliament a bill to help prevent franchise employees from being underpaid in the future by making head office franchisors share liability for their franchisees’ underpayments.

“Something is wrong with our system when the boss of 7-Eleven is a billionaire but its workers are getting paid under $10 an hour and threatened with deportation,” Mr Bandt said.

“By allowing workers to claim any underpayments directly from head office, this law will help bring about a culture shift.”

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We’ll be in a ‘seven day economy’ when Parliament regularly sits on weekends: Bandt

In response to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s comments today on weekend rates, Greens spokesperson on industrial relations Adam Bandt MP today said that it will only be a “seven day economy” when Parliament regularly sits on weekends.

“I’ll believe that Saturday and Sunday no longer deserve the same special treatment when Parliament regularly sits on weekends,” Mr Bandt said.

“A ‘seven day economy’ doesn’t mean a seven day working week. The important parts of the weekend should be preserved and if you have to work, you should be paid properly for it.”

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Weekend rates are a right, not a private school privilege: Greens

Greens workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said that weekend rates are a right, not a privilege for private school fees, and Labor linking the two is a losing strategy.

“Forget about private school, without weekend rates many people couldn’t pay the rent,” Mr Bandt said.

“With youth allowance so low and housing costs so high, many young people rely on weekend and penalty rates to pay the rent, stay in study and have enough to eat.”

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Call for local Liberal MPs to speak out against govt push to slash penalty rates

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has voiced her concern about the impact the loss of penalty rates will have on living standards in the Illawarra and has called on Liberal MPs in the Illawarra to publicly oppose the push to remove penalty rates and change the minimum wage. 

“Gutting Sunday rates for workers in regional areas like Illawarra would have a devastating impact on local economies and exacerbate inequality,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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PM must ditch IR bills that ‘wage war with unions’ and workers

Greens industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ditch the industrial relations bills the government has been trying to get through the Senate. The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 and the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 have both been rejected by the Senate and the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 is currently before the Senate.

Lines attributable to Adam Bandt MP:

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Abbott throwing shipping jobs overboard

Abbott throwing shipping jobs overboard

The Greens have ramped up calls for the Abbott government to abandon their misguided attacks on Australia’s coastal shipping sector after a Senate inquiry hearing into the proposed changes.

“The government is imposing unnecessary changes on a vital local industry that will cost Australian jobs,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens spokesperson for transport.

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Senate Committee agrees to Greens call for 7-Eleven special hearing

Greens industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today welcomed news that the Senate Inquiry into temporary work visa programmes has agreed to the Greens’ call to host a special hearing into reports of worker exploitation by 7-Eleven.

“Over the last week, we have heard more and more reports about the rampant exploitation of 7-Eleven workers across the country,” Mr Bandt said.

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Abbott must put Royal Commission out of its misery: Bandt

Greens industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today called on the Prime Minister to terminate the Trade Union Royal Commission following Dyson Heydon’s decision to stay on as the head of the TURC. Mr Bandt said that if the Prime Minister insists on continuing an inquiry, he must open up any new appointment and terms of reference to the Parliament.

“Agreeing to attend a Liberal fundraiser doesn’t pass the pub test. The Commissioner deciding himself that he’s not biased won’t change that,” Mr Bandt said.

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