KCTU Hits:131199 Recommend:2 2006.11.30 13:53
November 30


Rt. Hon. J W Howard MHR
Prime Minister
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600
AUSTRALIA

Hand delivered to Australian Embassy in South Korea

Dear Mr Howard

On behalf of the more than 800,000 members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions in South Korea, we are writing to express our deep concerns about the direction your government is taking regarding fundamental labour rights in Australia.

Internationally, Australia has always been viewed as a country that earnestly upholds labour laws in accordance to international standards and where workers were respected. Many of our affiliates such as the Korean Metal Workers Federation, Korean Government Employees Union, and the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions have had bilateral relations with their Australian counterparts for a number of years. Through these exchanges, South Korean workers began to cite Australia as one country, where workers were ensure basic labour rights, something that South Korean workers have been struggling for a number of years. However, it is clear that this is no longer the case.

Exactly one year ago, your administration introduced repressive new labour laws that are a threat to the livelihood of Australian workers and reduces the fundamental labour rights of Australian workers. Despite overwhelming opposition form the trade union movement, inter-faith organizations, and civil society groups, your government chose to introduce laws that would basically represent the most serious breach of labour standards anywhere in the industrialised world.

It is our understanding that provisions in the new laws make it more and more difficult for Australian workers to maintain their wages and working conditions, rights which they have fought so hard for many years. The new laws would give primacy to individual contracts in the form of
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