21 March 2017

Turnbull Government introduces Fair Work Amendment (Corrupting Benefits) Bill

Labor has worked hand in hand with the union movement to abolish weekend penalty rates for thousands of workers at large retail, fast-food and hospitality workplaces including at McDonalds, KFC, Woolworths and Coles.  

The unions and Labor are being complete hypocrites over penalty rates. 

Mr Shorten has trashed the independence of the Fair Work Commission which he helped establish and whose decisions he pledged to support, while ignoring deals between unions and big business which have worked together to trade away some weekend penalty rates.  

Labor opposes tax cuts for small and medium businesses but refuses to criticise big business for making secret payments to unions in return for doing deals which trade away workers penalty rates. Some of these payments total hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Our government will not stand by and let union bosses and big business rip off Corangamite workers, including some of the most vulnerable workers in Australia, 16 and 17 year old students. 

This week the Turnbull Government will introduce legislation into the Parliament which bans secret or corrupting payments between unions and employers. 

The Corrupting Benefits Bill will give authorities the power to prosecute unions and employers if they trade away workers entitlements in return for secret or corrupting payments while negotiating enterprise bargaining agreements. 

The Turnbull Government will amend the Fair Work Act to make it illegal to give, receive, offer or solicit such secret payments. Legal payments must be made public to employers before voting on EBA agreements. 

Like most members of parliament, I work very long hours including nearly every weekend.  Last Friday night, I was proud to hold a Great Ocean Road summit in Apollo Bay and on Saturday I worked all day attending a meeting of the Skenes Creek Advancement Association and then the Apollo Bay Show.   On Sunday I started working early afternoon, flew to Canberra and finished working in my parliament house office at 10.30pm last night.  The unions’ personal attack on my work ethic is pathetic.  

20 March 2017