Queensland religious join IR resistance

The Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes in Queensland has launched a campaign that includes a briefing paper summing up the Howard Government's industrial relations changes as an attempt to put money ahead of humanity.

CLICK HERE"As we engage in the activities of the National Anti-Poverty Week we are acutely aware of the risk of increasing the level of disadvantage to many Australians if the proposed changes to the Industrial Relations legislation go through," said Sr Annette Arnold, Director of the Conference's Social Action Office (SAO).

The Courier-Mail reports today that SAO is seeking to target senators, including Nationals member Barnaby Joyce, to defeat the plans.

SAO's campaign was launched yesterday, as the Salvation Army added its weight to forces opposing the changes.

SAO is asking people to read the campaign materials and discuss the changes so as to engage some public debate around the issues. Several lobbying strategies are suggested as well including an online petition to the Senate and postcards to Senators.

The SAO is very concerned that the proposed changes will impact heavily on the rights of the most vulnerable workers and their families - especially those on low-incomes, those who work part-time and casual hours. The SAO expresses particular concern regarding the vulnerable situation outworkers may find themselves in. The dignity and rights of every worker must be protected.

"People in our society have the right to have access to all they need to fully participate in life and grow to their full potential - this is what the Common Good is about and we have a serious obligation to bring about a situation where this can happen - not further alienate and disempower people," said Sr Annette.

"Political leaders have a particular and serious obligation to work for the Common Good but in so many ways today we do not see this happening. We must raise our voices on behalf of those with few choices so that life can be better for them. The level of disadvantage in Australia is outrageous and we must not stand voiceless and do nothing," she said.

Religious groups resist IR changes (The Courier Mail 19/10/05)
Changes to Industrial Relations Regime - Money Over Humanity (Social Action Office, Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, Queensland 18/10/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes in Queensland - Social Action Office | Industrial Relations Campaign 2005 | Briefing Paper - Money over Humanity - Changes to Industrial Relations in Australia

Archbishop warns priests warned not to become pawns (CathNews 14/10/05)
Papal twist in Parliament work debate (CathNews 12/10/05)
Govt IR detail fails to ease Commission's concern (CathNews 11/10/05)
Church body open to national industrial relations system (CathNews 12/9/05)
Church body slams IR policy proposals (CathNews 9/9/05)
Bishop urges Govt to tread softly on IR (CathNews 2/9/05)
Minister says full employment is Catholic "first principle" (CathNews 19/8/05)
Remote area voice sees PM 'off target' on IR (CathNews 12/8/05)
Commission answers PM's denial of existence of Catholic position (CathNews 10/8/05)
PM dismisses voice of Church (CathNews 8/8/05)
Melbourne Archbishop coordinating IR response (CathNews 3/8/05)
Minister tells churches to stay out of IR fight (CathNews 11/7/05)
Pell voices wages concerns (CathNews 4/7/05)
Canberra bishop speaks out on job insecurity fears (CathNews 1/7/04)
Church leaders worried about Howard IR changes (CathNews 29/6/05)
Bishop hits back at Minister's claims on IR reforms 1/6/05)
Catholic body seeks meeting with Minister over workplace laws (CathNews 30/5/05)

Salvos concerned over IR proposals (ABC Radio AM 18/10/05)
More criticism on the industrial relations front (Online Cathoilcs 19/10/05)
Work reforms lack fairness (Catholic Leader 16/10/05)
Priests warned not to become pawns (The Age 14/10/05)
Faith and duty call (The Australian 14/10/05)
Anglican, Catholic clergy echo concerns for low-paid workers (Canberra Times 12/10/05)

19 Oct 2005