The Morrison Government has paved the way for wage theft and further casualisation of the workforce in a gutted version of their IR Omnibus Bill that passed through the Senate this month. However, the efforts of unions and Australian workers helped stop some of the worst parts of this bill from going through. 

“Morrison has shown his true colours by attacking the casual workforce instead of using this opportunity to protect Australian workers and create more secure employment,” said Allen Hicks, ETU National Secretary.

“It’s a shameful move which further disempowers so many working Australians,” he said.

The laws passed today will allow employers to determine who is a casual employee and mean that workers who seek conversion to full-time have no capacity to challenge a refusal in the Fair Work Commission.

Despite these shameful changes, the whole of the Omnibus Bill did not pass the Senate.

Because of the efforts of Unions, working Australians, The ALP, The Greens, Senator Jacqui Lambie and Senator Rex Patrick, we were able to block significant proposed measures.

These included the creation of Greenfields agreements which would have allowed workers to be locked into substandard wages and conditions for 8 years and changes to how enterprise agreements are made.

“Thanks to all Australians who stood up and had their say. Because of you we were able to defeat some of the worst elements of this Bill,” said Mr Hicks.

“To the Liberal party and crossbencher politicians who supported this bill, we will not forget your lack of integrity and your actions which have thrown ordinary working people under the bus.”

“We will never stop fighting for the rights of workers, their families and the communities in which they live.”

This article was publised on 29 March 2021.