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Greens will make penalty rates an election issue: Bandt

Responding to the Productivity Commission’s draft report into the workplace relations framework, Greens employment and industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said the Greens will make penalty rates a key election issue in the upcoming Federal Election. “Any cuts to penalty rates will be a body blow for young people across the country,” Mr Bandt said.

“With housing prices so high and wages growing so slowly, young people working in retail and hospitality depend on penalty rates to support themselves and make ends meet.”

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Tony Abbott must take responsibility and do for airport public sector workers what he did for ADF personnel

Greens employment spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today supported airport public sector workers taking industrial action and called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to drop his hardline bargaining policy.

“The Prime Minister previously relented his hardline bargaining policy and gave real pay rises to ADF personnel. Now it’s time he did the same for airport public sector workers,” Mr Bandt said.

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Greens move for Senate inquiry into women’s superannuation savings

Greens industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today applauded ANZ’s move to pay its women employees more super and said the Greens will move for a Senate inquiry into their bill to boost superannuation for women across the country.

“Today’s announcement by the ANZ is a huge win for their women employees,” Mr Bandt said.

“On average, women have $44,000 in their super account, compared to $82,000 for men. This is an extreme level of inequality and ANZ is doing the right thing by trying to change this for their employees.”

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Government must guarantee no more slave-like contracts: Bandt

Greens spokesperson on Industrial Relations Adam Bandt MP today said the government must guarantee there are no more slave-like contracts after it was revealed that Thiess hired skilled migrants on contracts threatening to fire them should they engage in trade union activities and pay the company to find their replacements. Mr Bandt called on the government to investigate the Thiess matter and audit contracts for workers on 457 visas with those companies like Thiess that have been given the power to self-regulate.

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More Holden job losses yet Abbott still has no plan for SA: Greens

Responding to reports that a further 270 jobs are to be cut from Holden in South Australia, Greens Deputy Leader and industry spokesperson Adam Bandt MP said SA is bleeding jobs and yet Tony Abbott still has no plan for the state.

"Next month, a further 270 people in South Australia will be out of a job, with no clear options for what is next," Mr Bandt said.

"Tony Abbott is happy to sit back and watch the whole Australian auto industry shut down, seeing tens of thousands of people uprooted or thrown out of work."

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Prime Minister must rule out penalty rates changes: Greens

Greens Deputy Leader and Employment and Workplace Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to rule out changes to penalty rates and the minimum wage after Small Business Minister Bruce Billson backed a review of penalty rates over Easter.

“Time and again, we hear Senior Ministers send different messages,” Mr Bandt said.

“The Employment Minister says he’s ‘surprised’ the Productivity Commission is reviewing penalty rates but the Small Business Minister now backs the growing attack.”

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Government must respect Court and Parliament on offshore workers: Bandt

Greens Deputy Leader and Industrial Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP responded to the Federal Court’s unanimous decision that the Government has unlawfully tried to circumvent existing legislation in the offshore resources sector by calling on the government to respect the will of the Parliament and the court.

“The umpire has just red-carded the Abbott government for trying flout the law and the Parliament,” said Mr Bandt.

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Senate backs Greens working visa inquiry

Greens Deputy Leader and workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP said today the Senate has backed the creation of a broad-ranging Senate inquiry into Australia's working visa system, including the use of 457 visas.

“The Senate today has gotten behind our push for a landmark inquiry into the working visa system,” Mr Bandt said.

"With rising unemployment and a mining investment boom coming off the boil, now is the time to ask whether the current working visa system strikes the right balance."

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Government’s 457 visa policy does not fix system or grow local jobs

Greens Deputy Leader and employment spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said the government’s response to the 457 visa review would not stop the rorting of the working visa system and instead called on the government to make local skills development and jobs a top priority.

“Not only will the government’s plans not stop employers’ abuse of temporary work visas, they do nothing to grow jobs for locals across the country,” Mr Bandt said.

“At same time as claiming to toughen 457 requirements the government is in fact making testing weaker.”

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Senate builds pressure on government over minimum wage and penalty rates

The Senate today backed a Greens push to remove the minimum wage and penalty rates from the Productivity Commission’s workplace relations review, building pressure on the Abbott government to declare its hand on the issues, said Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for workplace relations Adam Bandt MP.

“Last week, Minister Abetz declared the government would not touch the minimum wage or penalty rates after the next election and that he was ‘surprised’ the Productivity Commission was looking at the issues,” said Mr Bandt.

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