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    BUSINESS LOBBY OPPOSES CHILD PROTECTIONS

    5 April 2007

     

    The battle to protect young children from workplace exploitation begins in the Industrial Relations Court today.

     

    SA Unions has proposed a Child Labour Award aimed at ensuring young workers receive fair treatment.

     

    The Award is the first step in providing consistent and strong protections for children in South Australia via a single consistent standard.

     

    Business SA is trying to knock it out in the first round, by arguing that it should not be allowed to proceed on a point of law.

     

    SA Unions Secretary Janet Giles says she will fight tooth and nail to protect South Australia's children.

     

    "We're seeking sensible provisions to stop very young children working unreasonable hours or in unreasonable roles, to guarantee they receive proper pay, to protect them from injury, and to ensure they're not the victims of sexual predators.  We want all children to receive the same standard of protection regardless of the industry they are in."

     

    "SA Unions continues to receive complaints from children and their parents about issues such as working after midnight and having to go to school the next day, and working alone in dangerous situations."

     

    "Business SA is trying to thwart our efforts to better protect our children", Ms Giles says.

     

    "It is a desperate act by an organisation that doesn't want to see any challenge to the federal IR laws that deliver absolute power to employers and no power to workers."

     

    Respected silk Tim Stanley QC will be advocating for SA Unions.

     

    Instructing Solicitor Stephen Dolphin from Lieschke and Weatherill says SA Unions has a strong case.

     

    "Thanks to a state government amendment, there are clear provisions under the State Fair Work Act to make laws pertaining to children.  This Act allows for a single award to protect all children.  We believe this is far superior to no laws, or potentially, a raft of inconsistent standards across many awards", Mr Dolphin says.

     

    The matter will be heard in the SA Industrial Relations Court on 5th April 2007.




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    Authorised by J Giles, SA Unions Secretary, 46 Greenhill Road, Wayville SA  5034