We?re facing third world life: AWU



CLARENCE VALLEY employees would face third world employment conditions if the Federal Government's workplace reforms were introduced says Australian Workers' Union organiser David Lyons.

The Howard Government on Thursday unveiled plans for a single national industrial relations system, where minimum wages would be set by a new commission and new workers would be on probation for six months.

The proposed system would strip 3.6 million employees working for firms employing fewer than 100 staff of their legal protection from unfair dismissal.

Mr Lyons shuddered to think what would happen to the rights of workers if the reforms were put in place.

"Right now Mr Howard wants to enter into a Free Trade Agreement with China," he said.

"If these workplace reforms are introduced then I believe Australian workers won't be much better off than their counterparts in China."

Mr Lyons said the proposed system would force employees to pay thousands for legal advice if they found themselves chasing employers for things like unpaid superannuation payments or owed long service leave.



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