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Employment and Workplace Relations

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Greens will fight attack on unions: Bandt

Greens Deputy Leader and workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP has said the Greens will resist the government's attempt to undermine unions' ability to protect Australian workers' rights.

Mr Bandt said the Greens will not support legislation introduced by the government today, which would reinstate the notorious Australian Building and Construction Commission and undermine the autonomy of unions.

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Rudd backflips on Australian jobs and pinches Greens jobs policy

Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt MP has welcomed Kevin Rudd's jobs announcements today but said Kevin Rudd had an opportunity to vote for one of the key policies earlier in the year when Labor opposed Greens amendments.

Mr Bandt moved amendments to the Australian Jobs Bill on May 28 this year to lower the threshold for Australian Industry Participation plans. Labor joined with Tony Abbott to vote down the amendments.

Today Kevin Rudd announced a plan to require all projects worth $300 million or more to adopt Australian Industry Participation Plans.

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Protecting Rights At Work

The Greens' vision for workplaces puts people firmly at the centre of workplace laws at a time when job insecurity and time pressure are on the rise.

Workplace laws should enable people to have a secure job, a good balance between working and personal & family life and protect people's rights at work.

We'll give people more control over balancing work and home, by bringing in the right to request flexible working arrangements and strengthening protections for carers.

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Greens will defend penalty rates

The Australian Greens today reaffirmed their support for penalty rates and pledged to oppose any changes from a future Abbott government.

Greens Deputy Leader and industrial relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt, said the Greens were a vital line of defence against any Abbott-led attacks on people's rights at work.

"As the Greens have repeatedly said, penalty rates are a recognition of the unsociable hours that many people work," said Mr Bandt.

"Many people, especially young workers, rely on penalty rates to earn a living wage," Mr Bandt concluded.

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Greens secure 457 protection for nurses, engineers

Greens Deputy Leader and workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP has welcomed the passage of the 457 reforms through the House of Representatives.

Mr Bandt says his support for the legislation came after the Greens secured amendments to protect local nursing and engineering jobs.

“This is an important step in protecting Australian jobs and the rights of all workers – locals and those on 457 visas,” Mr Bandt said.

“It is a culmination of a strong campaign to ensure that employers test the local labour market before seeking to bring in workers from overseas.”

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Labor duds Yellow Pages workers

A bid by Greens Deputy Leader and workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt to prevent Telstra subsidiary Sensis from off-shoring jobs was rejected by Labor and Tony Abbott today.

Mr Bandt tried to bring on an emergency debate on his Telecommunications Amendment (Protecting Local Workers) Bill which would require Telstra to produce directories such as the White Pages and Yellow Pages in Australia.

“Labor has dudded Yellow Pages workers,” Mr Bandt said.

“Telstra is required by law to produce the White Pages. My bill would ensure the work was done in Australia.”

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Greens back 457 action

Greens Deputy Leader and workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP has said government action on 457 visas was long overdue. Mr Bandt said the Greens were favourably disposed to the government's bill introduced today, but would look closely at the detail of the bill, particularly in relation to labour market testing.

“On the face of it, the government seems to have finally listened to unions and the Greens and are moving to require employers to advertise locally before bringing in workers from overseas,” Mr Bandt said.

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Bandt will move to protect minimum wage from super rises

Greens Deputy Leader and workplace spokesperson Adam Bandt MP says he will move amendments to the Fair Work Act tomorrow to limit the ability of the Fair Work commission to supress minimum wage rises because of increases in the superannuation guarantee.

The Fair Work Commission justified its decision to only award an increase of 2.6 per cent to the minimum wage today, in part because of the planned increase to the compulsory super guarantee contribution from employers.

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Greens say minimum wage falls short

Greens Deputy Leader and workplace relations spokesperson says the decision of the Fair Work Commission to increase the minimum wage by $15.80 a week was better than what employers were pushing for but fell short of what low-paid workers deserved.

Mr Bandt said the decision will mean workers will just keep up with inflation.

“This is well short of what the lowest workers need. It means workers will only just keep up with inflation,” Mr Bandt said.

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Abbott workplace laws can’t pass: Bandt

The Australian Greens have criticised Tony Abbott’s workplace policy and called on Labor to guarantee they would join with the Greens in blocking his proposals if they come before the Parliament.

Tony Abbott has today flagged a crackdown on unions, an increase in individual flexible agreements and the reinstatement of the Australian Building and Construction Commission if he forms government after the election.

“The Greens will use our numbers in Parliament to stop any attempt to attack Australians’ rights at work,” Mr Bandt said today.

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