Federal government seeks to cut sick leave
The current federal government's true disregard for Australian workers continues to be revealed, this time as it seeks to help a multinational corporation to cut workers’ sick leave.
After two failed attempts to slash sick leave entitlements for Cadbury shift workers the federal coalition government is assisting the corporation with its appeal of a Federal Court decision.
Shift workers across Queensland are set to lose sick leave if the federal government succeeds with its taxpayer-funded High Court appeal.
The federal government announced on Monday, 16 September 2019 that it would join with Mondelez (owner of Cadbury) to appeal against a recent court ruling that found Cadbury employees were entitled to 10 days of personal/carers leave per year of service.
The ruling confirmed shift workers at the company’s chocolate factory in Tasmania were entitled to 120 hours of paid time off, whereas employer Mondelez International argued they were due 10 shifts of 7.6 hours each, or 76 hours.
For Queensland workers on extended daily shifts, such as those in mining and health care, this could mean a significant reduction in their sick leave entitlement.
Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) Acting General Secretary Michael Clifford condemned the federal government and LNP MPs for opposing the rights of workers to sick leave.
“The government has embraced every opportunity to attack wages and workers’ conditions,” Mr Clifford said.
“Now it wants to spend taxpayers’ money to support employers in driving down conditions.
The federal government announced its intention to appeal the sick leave decision on the same day that a survey of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) salaries showed the average CEO earns 72 times the average Australian wage.
The average wage for a fulltime worker is $85,000 while the average CEO salary is $6.5 million a year, according to research from the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.
“It’s time for the federal government and big business to stop attacking workers and unions and instead devote time and energy to better wages and conditions for workers in Queensland,” Mr Clifford said.
Image Credits: Scott Morrison