Morrison’s anti-worker, union busting laws are back

The Senate has barely rejected the Morrison Government’s anti-worker union busting legislation but it’s back on the agenda for the Senate in the new year.

Less than a week after being rejected in the Senate, Scott Morrison has delivered on his promise to big business and put his union-busting bill through the House of Representatives again. But before it can be law it must go to the Senate. The Senate only just rejected this union busting bill but Morrison has rushed the same bill back into parliament.

These union-busting laws will hurt working people in this country. These laws will make it harder to win pay rises, harder to keep workplaces safe and they will make it easier for bad bosses to do the wrong thing; and keep getting away with doing the wrong thing. These laws continue a double standard that targets unions with deregistration over minor errors, like filing paperwork late, yet the big banks continue to get away with outrageous, ongoing criminal behaviour.

We have to stop this bill again. It doesn’t matter what amendments have been made because nothing can save this bill or make it ‘better’. At the end of the day this legislation is all about union-busting and keeping a promise to big business. What’s clear from this legislation being put back on the Senate’s agenda is that Scott Morrison has no plan to stop the criminality of the big banks. Our Prime Minister has no plan to end the rampant wage theft and has no intention of ending the rampant white-collar crime that is impacting Australians, making our workplaces less safe and keeping wages down.

Scott Morrison is only interested in attacking working people, through their union, again. And again. And again. Sign the petition!

The Morrison Government has overseen raids on journalists and is now attacking working people’s freedom to run their own unions. These are dangerous attacks on fundamental pillars of our democracy. To balance the power of corporations and governments, people need a free press and the right to form unions whose own democratic processes are free from interference. This extreme law would place Australia even further outside the rest of the world and more aligned with authoritarian, undemocratic countries.

These proposed laws also put the rights of millions of working people on the line. It is part of the Liberal Party’s and big business’ attempts to continually bully and intimidate unions because unions stand up for working people and hold governments and employers to account. At every turn we’ve had to fight for our rights and the gains that have been made. Governments and big business were never going to give workers annual leave or sick leave or maternity leave or safe workplaces or superannuation or many of the other things we now take for granted. But these laws will make it easier to undo these gains and wind back hard-won rights.

You don’t have to be a union member to know that unions have a critical role to play in a healthy democracy. The Morrison Government continues to demonise unions and their members by suggesting that we’re thugs. The truth is that the average union member is a 46-year-old woman who is a nurse. But the truth doesn’t stop Morrison or his big business mates from demonising us.

And in typical fashion for Liberal Government’s they have put it back on the agenda over Christmas limiting the amount of scrutiny of the bill and the Senators who say they’re prepared to consider the changes. It is a frightening abuse of power and a shameful attempt to do over ordinary workers’ during the summer holidays; it’s hardly the “Christian” thing to do.

If these laws applied equally to corporations, we would see banks, multinational pizza chains and the restaurants of celebrity chefs closed down for repeatedly breaking workplace laws and their top executives sacked and heavily fined. As we know none of this has happened. The directors, senior managements and owners of these corporations are never penalised or brought to justice or banned.

Morrison’s bill is entirely designed to silence working people and make it hard for all workers to win pay rises, protect their jobs, stop gendered-violence in the workplace, ensure workplaces are safe and fight rampant wage theft. In short what this Bill is designed to do is weaken unions and reduce our capacity to win benefits for members. It is an extreme piece of legislation that will make it easier for governments and businesses to attack unions; give bosses a say in who leads unions and who will represent members.

Senators will have the opportunity to again either stand up for your rights or deny them. And we won’t be letting any Senator off the hook if they vote to take our rights away.

Help us defeat Morrison’s union busting bill again. Sign the petition and then share it with your friends, family and colleagues

Paul Elliott

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