Launch of Fair Work Taskforce Issue Paper

Workers from some of Australia’s lowest paid industries will today join Labor to launch the Fair Work Taskforce (FWT) report, which highlights the immediate challenges facing low and middle income Australians.

The report makes crystal clear that the Liberals are bereft of a jobs plan other than their plan to hurt low and middle income earners through attempts to attack the minimum wage and slash penalty rates.

Cleaners, retail workers and disability workers will join the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Brendan O’Connor, FWT Chair, Lisa Chesters MP and FWT Secretary, Senator Chris Ketter to discuss the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s disregard for Australian workers.

A key issue identified in the report is that the national landscape for workers is becoming more and more insecure. Regardless of whether it’s casual retail or hospitality workers fearing a cut in penalty rates or skilled workers being sacked and replaced with temporary workers employed by subcontractors, the lack of job security and a regular income is generating fear across the Australian workforce.

These are issues the Turnbull government has failed to respond to. In fact this populist Government has failed to develop an IR plan; failed to respond to the productivity commission review into workplace relations that they commissioned; and failed include a policy to protect workers from exploitation in their “25 priorities”. This is a lazy and incompetent government.

Labor established the Fair Work Taskforce because we believe that everyone should have a say about their workplace conditions and a voice in response to the Abbott -Turnbull Government’s attack on jobs, wages and conditions.

The Taskforce heard from over 200 participants who attended 20 hearings across regional Australia, outer metropolitan suburbs and in every capital city. It clearly revealed the issues facing Australia’s low and middle income families and will inform Labor’s policies at the next election.

This Government’s dishonesty and incompetence is hurting Australians, it’s hurting the economy, it’s hurting jobs and it’s hurting the most vulnerable.

We need to stem the rise in underemployment, casualised labour, and depressed wages, which are making it harder for families to maintain their standard of living or even make ends meet.

Labor believes in a workplace relations system that provides a strong safety net, drives productivity and delivers a strong economic future.

The Fair Work Taskforce Report is available here.