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ALP votes to keep AWAs – retains worst parts of Work Choices

The Rudd Government today opted to keep Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs), voting down Greens' amendments that would have seen them finally put to rest.

"Australia voted at the last election for an end to Work Choices. Unfortunately, the Rudd Government seems reluctant to listen and act to restore genuine fairness and equality in the workplace," said Australian Greens industrial relations spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

"This government are allowing unfair Work Choices AWAs to continue and are denying Australian workers the benefits of the new safety net."

"The Greens have held a consistent position that substandard agreements, individual or collective, should be able to be terminated and employed on the more favourable conditions of the award or superior collective agreement that covers the employer."

"The Greens moved an amendment to give Fair Work Australia the power to terminate or vary unfair workplace instruments where they disadvantage the employee compared to the new safety net. The substance of this amendment was recommended by the ALP Senators in their report on the Senate Inquiry into this Bill," said Senator Siewert.

"We also moved an amendment designed to ensure that a new enterprise agreement will automatically replace an AWA or ITEA, without the need for conditional termination provisions. Unfortunately, both of these sensible, fair amendments were not supported by either of the two older parties."

"Work Choices will not be ‘dead' until the last AWA is terminated. Work Choices is having a slow, and for those stuck on unfair AWAs, a painful death," she concluded.

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

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