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Govt MPS Give Empty Assurances On ERB

"The Labour Minister has pulled the rug from under Government MPs hearing submissions on the Employment Relations Bill, by refusing to back their assurances changes would be made," Opposition Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"Government MPs last night heard major concerns from Ansett Courier drivers about the impact Clause six of the Bill will have on contractors.

"They had a very personal story to tell. Many have mortgaged their homes to the hilt to pay for the vehicles and capital needed to do their jobs. They did that on the basis they would work 80 or so hours a week. They're now worried they'll be forced to become employees - working 40 hours a week and wont be able to afford their mortgages.

"Government MPs on the select committee assured Ansett Couriers the final shape of the Bill had not been agreed and there would be changes so they wouldn't be affected.

"The assurances are hollow.

"The Labour Minister has left those MPs - and the couriers - high and dry with her continued denial that the Bill will not force contractors into becoming employees.

"She's about the only one who believes that.

"While it is good news the Minister has accepted changes for sharemilkers and real estate agents, it is worrying that she seems to want to continue to bury her head in the sand and delude herself that all other contractors won't be hit.

"After all, any union or labour inspector can apply to have an independent contractor to become an employee without notifying or advising the contractor."


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