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Workers and their unions instrumental in improved state IR laws

Queensland’s workers and union members have been instrumental in the new laws passed  overnight cleaning up the industrial relations chaos left by the Newman LNP government.

Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan congratulated union members on their central role in the new state industrial relations laws which restore fairness to workers’ rights and representation.

She said members of unions and the wider Queensland community worked tirelessly to throw out an LNP government that was hell-bent on introducing legislation purely aimed at reducing workers’ rights and conditions.

Ms McLennan said the passage of the Industrial Relations Bill introduces contemporary legislation that was developed in consultation with key stakeholders.

The new Queensland Industrial Relations Act focuses on:

  • introducing domestic and family violence leave as a core condition;
  • establishing a modern set of conditions to protect workers’ rights;
  • allowing workers to have decent access to their elected representatives;
  • restoring independence to the tribunals;
  • allowing industrial parties to agree on a full range of employment conditions without interference.

She commended Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace for introducing sensible and comprehensive legislative reform.

“Rather than a piecemeal and dictatorial approach, it has involved a holistic and consultative review.  This new Bill restores balance and workability to the system that had been removed by the LNP,” Ms McLennan said.

“These laws promote enterprise bargaining as the principal method of setting wages and conditions but also makes bargaining a fair process, ensuring that workers have decent access to representatives and that the parties bargain in good faith.

“And unlike Malcolm Turnbull’s ABCC legislation, it does not impose unreasonable conditions on the things that employees and employers can bargain about,” Ms McLennan said.

“These new state laws are the opposite of Turnbull’s ABCC which will compromise safety, mean fewer apprenticeships, reduce working rights, increase disputes and open the door to 457 visa workers instead of jobs for skilled locals.

“The LNP can’t help themselves. Every piece of legislation introduced by the LNP that concerns industrial relations is always the same and aimed at reducing workers’ conditions, wages and job security.”