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Employment and Workplace Relations

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OH&S harmonisation important, but requires scrutiny: Greens

The Australian Greens today outlined their in-principle support for national harmonisation of occupational health & safety (OH&S) laws, but warned the Government against sidestepping Parliament's role in any changes.

"Whilst the Greens support the principle of harmonisation of Australia's OH&S laws, we will be looking closely at the draft model laws expected to be released later today from the Workplace Relations Ministers' Council," said Australian Greens industrial relations spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens: low welfare payments undermine work-readiness

Comments today by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard defending unemployment payments that are well below the poverty line show she is out-of-touch with ordinary Australians, the Australian Greens say.

“Australia's unemployed are now officially the poorest in the developed world,” Greens Employment and Workplace Relations Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Coercive powers must go from ABCC: Greens

The Australian Greens today reiterated their opposition to the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), following the release of a Senate Inquiry report into the Government's Bill amending the BCII Act.

"The Greens remain committed to the principle that there should be one law for all workers and that building and construction workers should not be singled out for more punitive treatment," said Australian Greens industrial relations spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Safe Work Australia

The Australian Greens strongly believed in the position that we took to this debate the last two times that we debated this bill, and we maintain our position. We support the government's intention of working towards harmonising Australia's occupational health and safety laws. We support the establishment of Safe Work Australia as a replacement to the Howard government's Australian Safety and Compensation Council.

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Greens launch $50m local green jobs boost

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert joined Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Employment Participation Minister Mark Arbib in announcing a $50m local green jobs package in Perth today. These projects are the result of successful negotiation between the Rudd Government and the Greens to secure the passage of the economic stimulus package through the creation of around 10,000 local green jobs.

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today unveiled the first $50m of the $200m Local Jobs component of the Federal stimulus package which the Greens secured in their negotiations.

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Greens move for shareholder say in CEO pay

The Greens will move amendments to give shareholders a full say on CEO salaries when the Government brings its Corporations Amendment (Improving Accountability on Termination Payments) Bill into the Senate in the coming weeks, Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

The Bill as it is currently drafted requires termination payouts to directors and senior executives in excess of one year's salary, to have shareholder approval.

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Fair Pay Commission’s minimum wage logic ‘flawed’ - Greens

The logic behind the decision to freeze wages for 1.3 million Australian workers on the minimum wage is 'flawed' and the commission failed to take into account the true cost of living, say the Australian Greens.

"Make no mistake, this decision will see a rise in the numbers of the 'working poor' in Australia - working families who are struggling to keep up with the rent and keep their heads above the poverty line," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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