Email the Crossbench

You can’t heal the economy by hurting workers

The Morrison Government is trying to pass new laws that will reduce job security and cut wages for you and millions of workers. 

Working people have been the heroes of the pandemic. Millions of workers paid a high price to get us through and don’t deserve to be punished by this dangerous and extreme legislation. 

We need Scott Morrison, the Liberal-National Government and the Senate to realise that hurting workers won’t heal the economy. 

  • Employers will have power to define any job as casual through individual employment contracts
  • Proposals for casuals to convert to permanent work are very easy for employers to avoid

Part-time workers will lose certainty over their hours and overtime payments. This gives them the uncertainty of casual workers without the casual loading.

  • Part time workers will have their pay cut, losing their right to overtime pay
  • Part time workers will be treated like casuals but without the usual casual loading.
  • Part time workers will lose certainty and predictability of rosters and pay

This will first apply in 12 awards including retail, hospitality, and fast food but can be extended everywhere.

  • Employers will be able to direct workers to perform duties that are not part of their usual work.
  • Employers will be able to direct workers to work at different locations
  • The independent umpire (Fair Work Commission) will no longer be able to stop employers making unreasonable demands

This will first apply in 12 awards including retail, hospitality, and fast food but can be extended everywhere.

  • Workers on big building projects can be denied any say over their wages or rights
  • Multinationals will be able to dictate pay and workplace rights to Australian workers, this is exactly what the big mining companies and developers have demanded
  • If workers on these projects have a problem and a multinational refuses to fix it, the workers can’t ask the independent umpire to fix it and they face huge fines if they stop work

No. Not one single change is related to increasing job creation, productivity or wages.

All of the changes shift more power to employers when bargaining. It is already extremely hard to win pay increases in line with productivity increases, as evidenced by wage increases seriously lagging productivity increases.

In Australia, jobs are created through consumer spending. Workers with less job security and uncertainty about their income will spend less, and that will reduce job creation.

Over the years, workers’ rights have been removed and income (like penalty rates) have been cut — but not a extra single job has been proven to have been created by wage-cuts or fewer rights.

The proposed law changes will make this worse.

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