17 July 2007


The Australian Government’s WorkChoices legislation fails to provide a proper balance between employee and employer rights according to the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER), the body appointed by the Australian Catholic bishops to provide advice on employment issues in the context of Catholic Social teaching.

In releasing a new publication 'Workplace Relations: A Catholic Perspective' spokesman for the ACCER Brian Lawrence, went on to call for further changes to the law to protect the financial security of families. Concerns previously raised by the Bishops: whether Work Choices would promote truly co-operative employment relations and ensure the protection of the poor and vulnerable; preservation of a minimum wage, minimum conditions and the ability to bargain on equal terms; unfair dismissals and the role of unions are also addressed in the publication which can be downloaded at the above website.

In the meantime the Federal Minister for Health and prominent Catholic, Tony Abbott attacked the ACCER and other Catholic critics of the government policy accusing them of basing their criticisms on political rather than moral grounds.

As a member of the Board of Directors of Australian Political Ministry (Polmin) I was somewhat startled to find that I was a member of "a classic front organization, a local version of the Chinese Patriotic Church"! according to Mr Abbott.

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