Coalition reveals ruthless plan for right of entry laws
Recent statements by Federal Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash show that the government remains determined to reduce the working rights and conditions of Australians despite its silence during the election campaign.
According to the ACTU, Minister Cash was speaking at a business lunch in Western Australia when she confirmed the Coalition would remove unions’ access to lunchrooms and place limits on visits to workplaces.
She also said the Federal Government planned to allow the Fair Work Commission to clamp down on any visits that are deemed “excessive” and revoke the right of unions to have employer-paid accommodation to visit remote worksites.
ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said Minister Cash hid her plans for worker rights throughout the entire election and has now chosen a cosy mining lunch to land a low blow against working people and Australian Unions.
"Despite the views of the Minister, right of entry is about ensuring workers are safe so that people don’t get injured or, at worse, die. It’s also about working peoples’ right to join a union and discuss issues that affect them at work, whether it be pay, conditions or leave.
"There are around 600,000 workplace injuries in Australia each year. Every day union officials are working with workplace OH&S reps to reduce this number and ensure people make it home in one piece.
"The Coalition is clinging to these outdated, ideological fringe policies in the face of indisputable evidence that wage growth is at historical lows, insecure work is prevalent and income equality has deteriorated.
“As we see every day, more and more workers are being exploited, ripped off, under paid and put at risk.
"One of the most irresponsible responses to that crisis is to introduce even more barriers to workers organising and securing effective union representation."
The Minister for Employment has come out of hiding to try to stop people from doing what they are legally entitled to do – join a union for support and protection in the workplace.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said our union would oppose any move to stop working people organising in their workplaces and accessing their unions.
“Australians are legally entitled to join a union for support and protection in the workplace – any attempt to diminish those rights must be rejected,” Mr Burke said.