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Employment and Workplace Relations

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Senate supports Greens call for new OHS laws to set high standards

The Senate has backed an Australian Greens motion calling on the Government to ensure there is no reduction in occupational health and safety standards anywhere in the nation in implementing their new laws.

"Workers, unions and the community are concerned that the Government's OHS harmonisation agenda will mean lower safety standards rather than the highest possible we should be pursuing", said Senator Siewert.

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Greens renew call for govt to honour election promise to scrap ABCC

The Australian Greens have renewed their call for the Federal Government to fulfil its election promise to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner and bring Australia's workplace laws in line with international standards.

It comes as a recent International Labour Organisation report heavily criticised the Labor Government for not doing more to ensure our workplace laws comply with international legal obligations.

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Medical Scientists IR standoff highlights flaws in Fair Work Bill

An industrial dispute in regional Victoria highlights the failures of the Government's Fair Work Bill, say the Australian Greens.

"It is worrying to see our predictions for the Fair Work Act come true, with workers left in bargaining limbo - in this case affecting scientists and technicians providing pathology services in regional Victoria," said Australian Greens industrial relations spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

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ALP fails to uphold promise to abolish ABCC

The Rudd Government has failed to deliver on a key election promise, with the continuation of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) into 2010, say the Australian Greens.

"At the last election, the ALP vowed to replace the ABCC with a special building industry inspectorate by 1st February 2010. We are now in the last few days of Parliamentary sitting, and it is obvious that promise will not be kept," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Unpaid Overtime in Australia

That the Senate notes:

  1. 25 November 2009 is national Go Home On Time Day;
  2. Australians work more than 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime each year;
  3. Australians work the longest hours in the western world;
  4. excessive unpaid overtime has significant industrial, economic and social implications; and
  5. long working hours can have negative consequences for physical and mental health and personal relationships.

Question agreed to.

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Greens call for cap on working hours

The Australian Greens remain deeply concerned about the long and often unpaid hours worked by many Australians, highlighted in a report from the Australia Institute released today.

"The Something for Nothing report confirms that Australians work some of the longest hours in the Western world, with full time employees working an average 70 minutes unpaid overtime a day. Such hours have serious consequences for workers and their families," said Greens Workplace Relations Spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Public and Greens rally behind Ark Tribe case

The Australian Greens have put their support behind rallies being held around Australia today in support of construction worker Ark Tribe who is facing 6 months in gaol for not attending an interview with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

"It continues to be a disgrace that working people like Ark Tribe can be facing gaol for attending a workplace safety meeting," said Australian Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

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