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

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

  • 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’

“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

ETU Eimear O’Sullivan 0419 499 886
CFMEU John Kelly 0407 071 703

This article was publised on 28 January 2021.