TWU welcomes Labor Government
Release date: 7/09/2010
The Transport Workers Union has welcomed the return of the Gillard Government, saying that a return to the coalition would have been a step back in access to workplace rights and safety.
“The Labor Government tore up John Howard’s WorkChoices,” Mr Sheldon said.
“Prime Minister Julia Gillard has endorsed a system of Safe Rates for truck drivers prior to the election, and now the election is gone it would be expected that we would see an advisory committee report.
“Earlier this year, the PM said that she would put out an options paper on Safe Rates and we look forward to that discussion. Tony Windsor has backed Safe Rates in the past, and we will be talking to other cross-benches to ensure this piece of urgent legislation is passed.
“The pre-election promise that all workers entitlements would be protected across the country is a new direction for Australian families. The “Fair Entitlements Guarantee” would protect workers whose company made them redundant but could not pay workers’ entitlements including redundancy, leave, and unpaid wages.
“Labour has also committed to a sound procurement policy, which allows for minimum standards and labour guarantees on all work performed on behalf of the taxpayer. This sets an example to the entire community and means “lowest cost and lowest service” is out the door.
“But the stability of the government will rest with all members of parliament in both houses. Our economy needs that stability. Companies we have talked with in negotiations have been holding back to see what policies will run and apply to their operations.
“I would like to congratulate Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan on their campaign and the negotiations they have been able to carry out with the independents – and I would also like to congratulate the independents on making a positive decision for all Australians,” Mr Sheldon said.
A report commissioned by the National Transport Commission in 2008 found a link between safety, poor rates of pay and client pressure. It recommended a new system be established to ensure drivers are adequately remunerated.
In July, the then Deputy Prime Minister announced that the options paper from the Safe Rates Advisory Group would be released shortly and open for comment for six weeks.
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