BRENDAN O’CONNOR, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
LABOR BRINGS A WIN FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS
Workers’ rights have been protected after the Senate crossbench joined Labor to back in an amendment to the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill 2017, by a vote of 33 to 25.
The support of the entire crossbench – with the exception of One Nation Senators - helped block a move by the Turnbull Government to increase the maximum penalty for breaches of the secondary boycott provisions, or ‘sympathy strikes’, from $750,000 to $10 million.
Under international law (International Labour Organisation Convention no.87), sympathy strikes are permitted, provided the original strike is lawful.
Labor’s amendment has helped ensure Australia does not move further away from international best practice. With inequality at a 75-year high, the last thing Australians need is a government attacking unions and workers’ right to bargain collectively.
After its resounding loss in the Senate, the Turnbull Government should now formally drop its plans to raise penalties on secondary boycotts.
MONDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2017