LawFuel – The Law Newswire – Australian rock groups are attempting to rock the political establishment into changing industrial relations laws, with a ‘Rockin’ for Rights’ concert on Sunday.
Industrial relations is arguably the most contentious issue in Australian politics, with an election later in the year, because it highlights the ideological differences between the Howard government and the Labour opposition.
About 10,000 people attended the Sunday concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground, as top rock groups sang against workplace laws.
Eager fans spilled out onto the turf to hear artists such as Missy Higgins, You Am I, Youth Group, The Whitlams and Something for Kate, who all gave up their usual appearance fees to play at the concert.
During its 10 years in power, the government has scaled back workers’ rights, allowing small firms to be exempt from unfair dismissal laws and making it easier for large companies with more than 101 employees to sack staff.
But the unions claim the new laws and guidelines – dubbed “Workchoices” and the biggest overhaul of industrial relations in the country’s history – have taken away much-needed workplace protections.