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News News Australians want new IR laws passed now to protect workers in economic downturn: new poll

A new national poll shows there is overwhelming public support for the immediate introduction of new industrial relations laws that boost rights and legal protections for working Australians during the economic downturn.

The survey, conducted by Essential Research for the ACTU, found that eight in ten Australians (77%) want Parliament to pass new, fairer IR laws as soon as possible.

Parliament will resume this week, providing the first opportunity for the Labor Government’s proposed Fair Work Bill to be presented to the Senate following a recent inquiry that recommended the laws be passed without delay.

“People are worried about their own jobs and those of their family in the current downturn,” said ACTU President Sharan Burrow. “They want the security of stronger IR laws that protect their rights. The worsening economic situation means it is vital that we get rid of what remains of WorkChoices.

“At a time like this, when workers are losing their jobs and paying for what greedy executives have done, Australians need to get back their rights at work with fairer, new IR laws.”

Key findings of the national poll of 1020 people include:


  • 67% say that with the economic downturn, increasing the rights and protection of working people through new IR laws is more important than ever.
  • 77% believe the Rudd Government should keep its election promise to get rid of Work Choices and the Parliament should pass new, fairer IR laws as soon as possible.
  • 86% believe that maintaining jobs and incomes helps demand and stimulates the economy.
  • 64% say collective bargaining is necessary to give workers job and income security.
  • 87% of Australians believe the global financial crisis was caused by businesses more concerned with short-term profits than planning for the future.
Download the poll here


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