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ALP IR is not forward enough with fairness - Greens

The Australian Greens believe many working Australians will feel let down by this legislation as not delivering on the promise to abolish Work Choices and to create a genuinely fair industrial relation system.

"There are huge gaps and problems with the Fair Work Bill. The unfair dismissal laws don't go far enough, too many restrictions on collective bargaining remain, continuing individual agreements and an umpire with limited powers are all cause for concern," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"This legislation is being compared to Work Choices rather than what a fair and decent industrial relations system should look like. We are already seeing minimum conditions reduced from pre-Work Choices levels under the award modernisation process with the potential for these standards to be undermined even further with individual flexibility agreements."

"We have concerns about the protection afforded to more vulnerable workers, the people that were most affected by Work Choices. The National Employment Standards are only enforceable through the Federal Magistrates Court, meaning possible prohibitive costs for workers with valid concerns over their working conditions. How can our most vulnerable workers take such action?" said Senator Siewert.

"The Government's move to include ‘good faith bargaining' and last resort arbitration is welcome, but with workers unable to bargain over important conditions including environmental matters, and limitations of Fair Work Australia to resolve disputes, this legislation fails to deliver on some key concerns of the Australian people."

"This is a lost opportunity for an ALP Government to cement in place a truly progressive workplace relations system. The Greens will be putting this legislation under close scrutiny in the Senate and pushing to ensure dignity and a decent standard of living to all Australian workers," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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