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ACTU Condemns Disgraceful Federal Govt Attack On Sacked Workers27 July 2006
The ACTU yesterday strongly condemned the Federal Government for its attack on the workers appearing in the ACTU television advertisements.
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said yesterday:
"Unions are standing by these people and we are going to stand by other workers who have the courage to come forward and speak out against the unfairness of the new IR laws.
"I am confident about our ads and the people that are in them & the stories they have told."
A number of the workers who have been identified in media reports of an Office of Workplace Services (OWS) investigation into their cases have not even been spoken to or interviewed by the OWS.
Under the new laws these workers and millions of other Australians no longer have an avenue for defending themselves against unfair treatment by their employer.
These people have suffered pay cuts or have been sacked unfairly and all the Government can do is attack them and say it's their own fault.
If a report of the Office of Workplace Services (OWS) investigation has been deliberately leaked to the media then this is simply evidence of how desperate the Government is getting in this fight over the IR laws.
It also indicates that the OWS is biased and unprofessional.
The OWS appears to have relied upon untested claims by employers as the basis for its so-called independent findings.
We haven't yet been able to contact all of the people who were in our ads but it appears that at least four of those people mentioned in the report have not been spoken to or interviewed by the OWS about the allegations that the OWS has made against them.
This is a denial of natural justice that is totally unacceptable.
The conduct of the OWS in this matter should be investigated.
Yesterday's events raise serious questions for the Government that need to be answered: Who instigated this alleged OWS report? How was the investigation carried out? Did the OWS act independently? Why didn't the OWS contact the ACTU or the employees to get the other side of the story or to allow people to answer the claims made against them?
This is a disgraceful attack by the Government on ordinary workers who are just trying to stand up for their rights," said Mr Combet.
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