Queensland public service union Together has called a stopwork rally on May 1 over the new Liberal National Party (LNP) government's threat of forced retrenchments.
ABC Online said on April 25, Together had launched a new campaign to give workers a voice in the government's “restructure of departments”.
The ABC reported that Together secretary Alex Scott said the LNP had said before the election there would be no forced retrenchments.
But now, he said: “A number of long-term temporaries who would be permanent in any other workforce are being forcibly retrenched and receiving retrenchment packages as a result of the death by 1000 cuts that is currently occurring.
“With the delayed state budget, we are very concerned that retrenchment packages are being forcibly put on people in the public sector at the moment in contravention of commitments made by the LNP.”
The April 27 Courier-Mail said: “Public service sources said a climate of fear now surrounded workers on temporary contracts, with a freeze on extensions meaning many whose contracts expired after the March 24 poll are set to join the ranks of the unemployed.”
The Courier-Mail said Scott accused the government of “using a 'blunt instrument' to force workers into unemployment”.
About 40,000 public service workers are employed on contracts, about 20% of the workforce.
Liam Flenady, Socialist Alliance candidate for the April 28 South Brisbane by-election, said: “Premier Campbell Newman's public service job cuts are clearly part of an all-out offensive against the public sector being planned by this LNP regime. The Queensland labour movement will need to mobilise in force to fight these cuts, which are set to worsen when Peter Costello's plan for a war on the state sector is released in the coming year.”