Labor a no-show at workplace relations debate

Not one of Labor’s 102 parliamentary representatives could be found to represent Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten at a debate today at the 8th Asian Regional Congress of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association Congress in Melbourne today.

“After accepting the debate some months ago, understandably Mr Shorten pulled out to visit China but not one Labor MP was put up in his place to debate the Coalition on workplace relations issues,” Senator Abetz said today.

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David O’Byrne a national embarrassment

Tasmanian Minister David O’Byrne’s comment via a tweet that Margaret Thatcher was a “war criminal” is in very poor taste and an embarrassment to the Tasmanian people.

“This kind of vile commentary, following the passing of one of the world’s strongest leaders, is to be condemned in the strongest terms,” Senator Abetz said today.

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Extra charges against Michael Williamson

“The laying of two extra charges of money laundering and cheating or defrauding as a director against former Health Services Union boss and former national President of the Labor Party, Michael Williamson, in a Sydney court is noted.”

“The now 50 charges laid against Mr Williamson will provide some peace of mind to the low-paid members of the Health Services Union that justice is taking its course.”

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Greens Caught Out Over 457 Hypocrisy

Today it has been revealed that former GetUp National Director Simon Sheikh's Greens Senate campaign advertised overseas for a data manager to manage volunteers, donor and voter contact details, and to assist with websites and emails.

The Greens weren't offering to pay wages for the six months' work - only for a ticket to Australia, plus food and accommodation.

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Shorten folds to unions

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has reopened the door on the introduction of compulsory arbitration in a communiqué buried on his Department’s website.

The Communiqué from Wednesday’s Ministerial Council meeting states: “Minister Shorten offered to further consult Members on any proposed amendments to improve greenfields agreement making and resolving intractable bargaining

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National Apology for Forced Adoptions

In the life of any great nation, it is appropriate to pause and reflect and ask: are there things in the past we could have done better? Are there things we should have done better? Are there things we should not have done at all? A great nation, while celebrating its overwhelming achievements, should also find within its soul and conscience the capacity to ask the tough questions and reflect. Australia, being the great nation that she is, with a record second-to-none as a country of hope, reward and opportunity, nevertheless does not have an unblemished record. We have left people behind, and shamelessly so. And it is in recognition of that realisation that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition made their heartfelt statements earlier today in the Great Hall: statements of apology on behalf of our nation for forced adoptions.

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Union boss threats cannot prevail

“Bill Shorten is facing a serious test in coming weeks after revelations today that Victorian Unions are attempting to blackmail the Minister unless he makes even more union boss friendly changes incorporating compulsory arbitration in the Fair Work Act,” Senator Abetz said today.

“It is a shameful threat by the Victorian Trades Hall Council to withdraw support for Labor in marginal seats unless Mr Shorten implements additional changes to the Fair Work Act.”

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Jeff Lawrence gets soft landing in Fair Work Commission

“Bill Shorten’s announcement today that Jeff Lawrence will be appointed a Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission confirms that Labor’s “Jobs for Labor’s mates” network is alive and well,” Senator Abetz said today.

“It was always very curious that Mr Lawrence silently stepped away from his plumb job at the ACTU but now we know why.”

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Gillard leaves Tasmania off the map again

“Tasmania has missed out again in the ‘latest’ reshuffle of Ms Gillard’s ever-revolving door of Ministerial and Parliamentary appointments,” Senator Abetz said today.

“In every other State there was a promotion for somebody, but Tasmania has completely missed out.”

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MUA’s latest stunt will come at cost of jobs

The Maritime Workers Union is set to use a new pattern agreement to try and extort huge wage rises as well as additional allowances with no productivity trade-offs.

According to reports, the pattern template will be used by the MUA to negotiate for cooks and related positions who work on ships in the offshore oil and gas industry in 2013.

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Union Bosses Just Getting More Militant

Just days after Labor announced sweeping new powers that will give expanded right of entry powers for union bosses, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has today released data that shows a significant increase in working days lost to industrial disputes on a year on year basis.

During the year ended December 2012, there were 273,200 working days lost compared with 241,500 in the year ended December 2011, a significant increase of 31,700 working days lost.

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About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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