Unions call on Senators to stop Morrison’s IR Omnibus Bill

Published: 28 Jan 2021

National construction, maritime and electrical unions are calling on Senate crossbenchers to stand up for working people and reject the Morrison Government’s anti-worker IR Omnibus Bill.
The campaign, launched by the National Divisions of the ETU and CFMEU, encourages union members and the public to tell the Senate to vote against the IR Omnibus Bill which will leave workers worse off, with less pay and worse conditions if passed.
The proposed laws will further diminish the rights of working people in favour of big business. They include:
  • Removing workplace rights for casual workers;
  • Taking away the protection of the Better Off Overall Test;
  • Removing the right of many FIFO and construction workers to negotiate a collective agreement for up to 8 years.
These laws will be bad for workers and come at the worst possible time on the back of the havoc wreaked on people’s jobs during the pandemic.
Allen Hicks, ETU National Secretary:
“Australian workers did their part to keep the economy strong through the Covid-19 crisis and it is shameful that Scott Morrison wants to reward them by cutting their pay and conditions.”
“The pandemic has shone a spotlight on just how precarious employment can be for too many people in this country. We have also seen that essential workers include not only nurses, aged care workers, paramedics and health professionals, but also the workers in the retail, transport and logistics, maritime and construction industries that keep the economy moving and supplies flowing when times are tough.”
“The ETU and CFMEU work closely in construction which is the backbone of our entire economy, where workers have fought hard for their pay and conditions and who stand to lose their working rights if these laws are passed.”
Dave Noonan, CFMEU National Construction Secretary:
“These laws will hit workers hard right when many are trying to get back on their feet after the pandemic.”
“Even Morrison Government Ministers acknowledged the role construction workers and their unions played in keeping the industry open and safe. Now Morrison wants to cut their wages and conditions, while leaving his own massive salary and perks untouched.”
“These laws are typical overreach from a conservative government more interested in ideology over substance and in doing the bidding of big business lobby groups at the expense of workers.”
“Scott Morrison may think he can reach into the bottom drawer and dust off the WorkChoices folder to have another crack, but our unions won’t stand by while employers are handed more power to cut workers’ rights.”
“The crossbench Senators have the power to stop the IR Omnibus Bill before it hits workers. They need to stand up and let working people know whose side they are on.”
People can send a message to Senators calling for them to reject the IR Omnibus Bill via the campaign website www.stopthebus.com.au.