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Employment and Workplace Relations

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Speech: Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2021

I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak to the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020. I can tell you that, unlike the title of it, there is absolutely nothing fair about this bill. This bill seeks to suppress wages and erode working conditions for all workers, especially those who are the lowest paid, through a suite of measures designed to further shift the balance of power from workers to business.

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Speech: Workers' Wages

 I thank Senator Walsh for bringing this matter of public importance to the Senate. Over the last 40 years, Australia has gone from being one of the most egalitarian countries in the Western capitalist world to one of the most severely unequal—one dominated by business interests. Key to the growth of inequality and precariousness in Australia has been decades of neoliberal industrial relations policy designed to smash the power of organised labour and reorientate workplace organisations in favour of maximising gain for employers and giving them more flexibility to hire and fire workers.

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Speech: The Children of WorkChoices

This government is full of the ideological children of John Howard. A fundamental project of the Liberal and National parties is shifting the balance of power from workers to capital. At every turn they will privilege profits of corporations, of billionaires and of rent-seekers over the wellbeing of people and communities. Their policy agenda is the result of laziness, malice and an irrational obsession with free markets and competition. Decades of market-led policy, labour market deregulation and union busting have diminished the quality of work for so many people.

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BOOT backdown no distraction, IR laws are extreme attack on job security

Australian Greens Leader and former industrial relations lawyer, Adam Bandt, has outlined how the radical overhaul at the heart of the IR omnibus bill will entrench insecure work. Bandt says the controversy over the terrible ‘Better Off Overall Test’ change has unfortunately distracted from the extreme nature of other reforms in the bill.
 
“This bill will redefine the Australian labour market,” said Dr Bandt.

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Speech: Workplace safety

The Greens support this motion. We have long called for federal laws on industrial manslaughter. Our workplace health and safety laws are broken. Employers who do not ensure their workplaces are safe must be held to account and there must be strong deterrents for cutting corners on safety. Action on the recommendations of the reports on industrial deaths should have already been implemented. The government has clearly deprioritised this. The families and loved ones of hundreds of people who have died at work since 2018 deserve to see justice.

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Greens will oppose IR Omnibus bill

Australian Greens Leader, Adam Bandt says the party’s 9 votes in the Senate will oppose the Government’s industrial relations omnibus Bill. 

“The Greens have a clear position on the government's IR bill. We oppose this bill because it cuts pay and makes job insecurity worse,” said Mr Bandt. 

“The Greens will block this bill in the Senate.

“The frontline workers who helped us through the pandemic deserve a medal, not a pay cut.

“Why would you weaken the ‘better off’ test unless you wanted to make people worse off?

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