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Greens fight for workers’ rights

The Australian Greens believe that workplace laws should be fair, protect all workers from unjust treatment, promote industrial harmony and enable us to organise collectively to negotiate fair pay and conditions.
Greens fight for workers’ rights

Larissa Waters at the 2007 Labour Day Rally

We have matched our words with action – standing up for the rights of workers and unions in the parliament.

How the Greens secured fairer workplace laws

The Australian Greens consistently and vigorously opposed Work Choices and played our part in ensuring the passage of the Fair Work legislation. The Greens secured important improvements to the Fair Work Bill, including:

  • Expanding the right to request flexible working hours to parents and carers of children with a disability under the age of 18;
  • An interim review of modern awards after two years instead of four;
  • An increase in the time period for lodgement of unfair dismissal claims.

The Greens also moved a series of amendments that were not supported by the Federal Government, addressing a number of serious concerns including:

  • Allowing employees to terminate unfair Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs);
  • Removing the restrictions on the content of enterprise agreements;
  • Providing a review process for the right to request flexible work arrangements;
  • Removing the Work Choices barriers to workers taking lawful industrial action;
  • Seeking that the bill complies with Australia's international labour obligations.

 Along with many in our community, we remain concerned with the consequences of the award modernisation process for some employees and will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the Fair Work legislation. 

Unfinished business

The fight for fair sustainable democratic workplace laws in not over. The Australian Greens will continue to fight for the following:

The Australian Greens remain committed to the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC). In August last year we tabled a Private Senator's Bill to repeal the Building and Construction Industry Improvement (BCII) Act in its entirety. We will continue to campaign for the end of the ABCC and for the equal treatment of all workers until this government gets rid of these anti-democratic laws.

We are committed to maintaining strong and effective occupational, health and safety laws around the nation. We are keeping a close eye on the Federal Government's harmonisation project and do not support the weakening of current occupational health and safety protections. There must be full protection for all employee entitlements. 

The Australian Greens look forward to continuing to support the rights of workers to a fair and just industrial relations system.

Green Up Labour Day

The Queensland Greens will have a presence at this year's Labour Day rally in Brisbane. Details can be found here.

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