Howard slashes workers' OHS rights

Issue 

On November 17 the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) claimed that workers' occupational health and safety rights have been cut by PM John Howard's government. Changes to the federal OHS act mean that employers, both public- and private-sector, will no longer have to include unions in OHS consultations.

On November 17, Phil Hazelton, OHS coordinator for the AMWU, said the changes, which take effect in 2007, mean that "employers will control the elections of workers health and safety representatives, can delay those elections for up to 6 months, don't need to negotiate with unions on OHS issues and agreements in workplaces, and can change designated work groups through agreement with the health and safety representative only."