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UnionsWA calls for increase to State Minimum Wage

UnionsWA has called for Western Australia’s State Minimum Wage to increase by 5.5%.

The current weekly minimum for adults is $569.70 per week, or $14.99 per hour. An increase of 5.5% would bring the weekly wage to $601, or $15.82 per hour.

The UnionsWA Submission points out that in 2009, the WA Industrial Relations Commission only increased the minimum wage by $12.30 per week, and delayed even that increase for three months because of ‘adverse State and national economic environments’.

Unions respond to dishonest mining company scare campaign

Unions are continuing to fight back against the dishonest scare campaign being run by the mining companies and the Liberal/National Party Coalition over the Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT). The AWU has launched a TV ad calling on the mining industry to accept that it is time to put something backing into Australian communities.

The AWU National Secretary, Paul Howes, has accused Tony Abbott of attempting to buy government by siding with the interests of the wealthy multinationals – rather than backing Australians who want a fair share of the country’s resources to build a decent nation for this generation, and their children and grand-children.

Abbott reaffirms commitment to WorkChoices in budget reply

In delivering a budget reply that was short on detail and long on rhetoric, Opposition leader Tony Abbott has again stated his commitment to reintroduce key aspects of John Howard’s WorkChocies legislation. Despite what they have said to the contrary, the current Liberal leadership have obviously not learnt the lessons of 2007 when voters made it abundantly clear that Australians do not want an unjust and unfair employment relations system by emphatically voting for a change of government over the issue.

Trade Unions write to the PM about Australia's treatment of Refugees

20 Trade Unions and affiliated organisation leaders have endorsed a letter to the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and all Members of Parliament.

The letter expresses their concerns at the growing stance of indifference towards asylum seekers by both sides of politics, calls for Australia to follow its obligations under international law and details the real security threats in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

See below for the full text of the letter or visit the APHEDA website here.

Unions slam large mining companies over tax ‘scare campaign’ and say resource super profits tax will benefit all Australian workers

The Federal Government has revealed in its much-anticipated response to the Henry tax review that it will lift compulsory superannuation contributions from 9 to 12 per cent by 2020. It will also increase tax on the 'super profits' of mining companies to ensure more of the profits made from Australian resources stay in Australia. 

While millions of Australians are set to reap higher retirement savings and benefit through greater investment in infrastructure, large mining companies have criticised the reform saying that the super profits tax will adversely affect jobs and the Australian economy. But Tony Maher, the national president of the CFMEU, says the tax on above-normal profits is a good thing and will have no effect on job security. "Nobody's job is at risk as a result of this tax. I think the scare campaign the mining companies are running is disgraceful," he said.

Unions are concerned about BHP's safety record after tragic death at WA mine

UnionsWA is calling for the release of a safety report into BHP Billiton's Perseverance nickel mine at Leinster after a worker died on site after the underground truck he was driving fell 18 metres down a shaft.
It took rescuers almost 24 hours to get to the 45-year-old truck driver, who was already dead. Operations on the mine have been suspended.
This tragic incident is the third accident on the mine in the last 10 months. Last year the mine was temporarily closed after three workers were trapped underground for several hours in two separate rockfall incidents.

Tony Abbott promises to bring back individual contracts

Tony Abbott tells Australians he supports bringing back individual contracts [and WorkChoices under another name]

 Opposition leader Tony Abbott has given a clear signal as to the direction he wishes to take on industrial relations and perhaps unsurprisingly, it isn’t worker friendly.

 On the ABC’s Monday night Q & A program Abbott confirmed the Coalition will reintroduce statutory individual contracts if they are elected. He told the Q & A audience: "The policies that we take to the next election will provide for individual agreements.’ But he tried to soften the blow by saying: ‘There will be a strong no disadvantage test and no one will be able to be forced to leave their current arrangements to go onto different ones.’

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