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International Trade Union Confederation slams Tasmanian Government

International condemnation of the Tasmanian Government is mounting as it becomes clear its Anti-Worker Bill has very little to do with a wage-freeze. Tasmanian Unions have also written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott to bring his attention to this serious situation.


The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) based in Brussels has declared the Tasmanian Government is violating Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the International Labour Organisation under conventions 87 and 98 of the treaty.


In a statement, ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow says the Bill takes away fundamental rights, gives the employer complete control over the workforce, and takes away the powers of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.


“Authoritarianism can be an appealing idea in the short term to politicians keen on increasing their powers, but it is a recipe for long-term failure,” Ms Burrow says.


“Tasmania’s public employees are seeing their basic rights at work stripped away by a conservative government that seems determined to outdo the notorious “Work Choices” laws that signalled the end of the Howard era.


“Thinking things through, and using that time-tested and winning strategy of negotiating, in this case with the unions that represent these workers, are unfortunately not on the radar screen of a government which is drifting into dangerous waters,” Ms Burrow said.


Tasmanian Unions President Roz Madsen reiterated the fact that the Government had never attempted to negotiate with unions over its wage-freeze.


Unions have been ready and willing to negotiate with the Government from day one. A negotiated agreement would ensure there is no need for anyone to lose their job.


“However this Bill is not about a wage-freeze and it’s not about saving jobs. It is about Will Hodgman trying to permanently strip away the rights of Tasmanian workers.


“People are starting to realise just how dangerous this Bill is.


“If the Legislative Council votes it down and Will Hodgman decides to take the destructive and outrageous path of sacking over 500 more workers it will be clear that it is solely his decision, based purely on a hissy-fit because he didn’t get his way and refuses to negotiate like a reasonable adult,” Ms Madsen said.



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