Unions in force against IR laws

by Cameron Edmond21 Nov 2013

IR changes dubbed “more draconian than Work Choices” by the Queensland Council of Unions passed through parliament late on 19 November, facing off against stern opposition from union workers across the state.

Much of the Fair Work Act Harmonisation Bill will come into effect on 1 December. The legislation will limit the number of public sector awards, standardise minimum conditions, and move some health workers to individual contracts.

However, the diminishment of protected strike action is what has sparked the most outrage, as it is seen as stripping unions of their bargaining abilities.

"It tramples over rights and principles that were hard fought for, that wise and decent men and women struggled for,” Queensland Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk told The Brisbane Times.

"It attacks more than a century of that struggle which had a common goal – that every Queenslander should receive a fair buck for a fair day's work,” she added.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has defended the bill, stating it was pushed through to empower grassroots members of the public service, providing them with information about unions that has previously been withheld.

The full bill can be read here.

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