Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says mass sackings by the Newman Government in its first year and more in the pipeline make a charter of Queensland workers’ rights essential.
In Brisbane today Ms Palaszczuk signed and supported a Labour Day Charter for Queensland Workers’ Rights and challenged the Premier to do the same.
“Those who sign up to the Labour Day Charter for Queensland Workers’ Rights commit themselves to upholding the fundamental rights of workers including the right to be treated with respect and dignity by their employers,” she said.
“Such rights also include fair and equitable remuneration, hours of work, forms of leave, freedom of association, freedom to collectively bargain and access to union assistance.
“Unfortunately the LNP government fails that simple test, having sacked 14,000 employees and having used its massive majority to strip away employment rights and conditions and tie the hands of the industrial umpire.
“We know the LNP will continue to use its majority to sack more people — with 66,000 jobs set to evaporate over the next five years — and to drive down wages.
“Despite sounding harmless and conciliatory before the 2012 election, the premier and his government have embarked on a worker-bashing, union-bashing vendetta ever since.
“These are rights that have been hard won by generations of Queenslanders and should be respected by all governments.
“The rights outlined in the Labour Day Charter for Queensland Workers’ Rights are very basic which shows just how extreme the LNP really is when it comes to industrial relations.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she had been pleased during the Labour Day weekend to launch a number of new Labor Party policies focussing on jobs and workers’ rights including:
- Honouring the Real Labour Day — a commitment to return the Labour Day holiday to its historical position in May;
- Ready for Work — a program to ensure young unemployed people had the skills needed to enter the labour market;
- Restoring Fairness for Government Workers — a commitment to legislate to return rights and entitlements of government employees stripped away by the Newman Government; and
- announcing the initial board members of the independent think-tank, the TJ Ryan Foundation.
“I was disappointed that my Private Member’s Bill to restore the independence of the Queensland Industrial relations Commission and to return the right and entitlements of government workers taken away by the LNP was removed from the parliamentary debate list,” she said.
“However it will be among the first Bills introduced and passed by a future Labor Government.”