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Business slams casuals plan

Date

Clay Lucas

Incoming ACTU secretary Dave Oliver is expected to lead an aggressive campaign.

Incoming ACTU secretary Dave Oliver is expected to lead an aggressive campaign. Photo: Peter Rae

EMPLOYER groups say a plan to be released by unions tomorrow to ensure Australia's labour laws provide better protections for casual and temporary workers would damage the nation's interests.

Almost 1000 union leaders from across Australia will converge this morning at the Sydney Convention Centre, for the first day of the ACTU's three-day congress, the union movement's triennial call to arms.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard will address the gathering this afternoon, and Dave Oliver will be formally installed as ACTU secretary in the place of outgoing chief Jeff Lawrence.

With business groups pushing the Coalition to adopt a hard-line industrial relations policy, Mr Oliver is expected to lead a more aggressive campaign by the union movement.

And amid the continuing fallout from the Craig Thomson and Health Services Union saga, ACTU members are also expected to debate new governance standards for unions, to ensure zero tolerance for corruption is enforced.

The ACTU will also formally release its report on ''insecure'' workers - people in casual work, working for labour hire firms, or on a contract - who now make up 40 per cent of the Australian workforce.

The report recommends that casual work be allowed only for ''irregular, intermittent or very short-term work''. And, under the union's plan, the creation of jobs deemed temporary would be outlawed ''where there are reasonable grounds to expect that the work will be ongoing''.

Employer groups said most of these ideas would dangerously shift the balance of power from employers to employees.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Peter Anderson said business would resist most of the proposed ''solutions'' ''because they are based on the creation of new rights that the economy would not be able to support''.

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6 comments

  • Unions are only interested in gaining as many members as possible so the membership fees add to their already big spending wallets. Unions have no place in the modern world. Why give your money to these people when in fact they do nothing for you and happily attend big conferrences and meetings while staying at luxury hotels - all at your expense.

    Commenter
    KevinDudd
    Location
    Melb
    Date and time
    May 15, 2012, 8:54AM
    • As a casual myself working for a labour hire company is not an ideal situation.When the work at one client runs out you are sent to another job(if you are lucky enough).
      Sometimes it does not matter how much skill,experience,
      loyalty and commitment you have.You still get laid off.

      Commenter
      politixjunkie
      Location
      Brunswick West
      Date and time
      May 15, 2012, 8:57AM
      • And 2 million Australians are in the same position as you.

        Look on the bright side ..... while the Global Financial Crises was in full swing Clive "Billions" Palmer was buying a nickle refining plant (Yabulu), buying the Hyatt Coolum + golf course, a new jet and of course the new Queensland government ........ so as you can see the rich are doing it tough as well.

        Commenter
        J. Fraser
        Location
        Queensland
        Date and time
        May 15, 2012, 12:05PM
      • J. Fraser-And Clive Palmer's companies provided jobs for thousands of your fellow citizens and paid stacks of taxes for our Socialist Government to waste. It is the Unions that destroy jobs not the 'rich'-they create jobs with their hard work and energy. One would much rather depend on a successful person to create jobs than a lazy winger who thinks that the World owes them a living.

        Commenter
        noitall
        Location
        Beacon Hill
        Date and time
        May 15, 2012, 1:58PM
    • Presumably these employers think that only they qualify as being "the nation". The vast majority of people who are not employers - or worse, those barely-human things who are casual or temporary workers - don't count as being part of the nation at all. What next, denial of voting rights? Citizenship?

      Commenter
      Kitteh
      Date and time
      May 15, 2012, 10:46AM
      • The Unions cannot have their cake and eat it too. The current unemployment rate is only where it is now because of part time and casual work. If employers are going to be forced to employ people as permanents and the unfair dismissal laws are retained then we could expect an immediate rise in the unemployment rate. The non mining sectors are already struggling because of Gillard’s new industrial laws and the flow on effects of Gillard’s promise-breaking introduction of the carbon tax. Work choices is gone but we don’t want to go back to the bad old days of Union domination because it could be worse for jobs and productivity than Work choices were.

        Commenter
        noitall
        Location
        Beacon Hill
        Date and time
        May 15, 2012, 1:52PM
        Comments are now closed

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