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Aussie employees disadvantaged by workplace agreements

Australian workers still on individual contracts are losing thousands of dollars a year, according to the ACTU, with the union body urging workers that they need an exit strategy from their Work Choices agreement.

Despite Labour abolishing the Howard Government’s Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA’s), thousands of Australian workers are still locked into sub-standard pay conditions, with research conducted by Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), showing AWA workers were up to $7,500 a year worse off compared to employees on an enterprise agreement working the same hours.

“There are around 520,000 people still on AWAs or non-union contracts left over from Work Choices, and these workers are being disadvantaged,” said ACTU president Sharan Burrow.

“These AWAs and non-union agreements … disadvantage employees, but they are also unfair to competing businesses that have done the right thing and negotiated collective agreements with their workers.

“There needs to be a mechanism to allow these workers to opt out of these contracts and return to coverage by the modern award safety net or a collective agreement.”

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