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Knives out in battle over industrial relations policy

Labor is stepping up its fight over industrial relations changes with a national advertising campaign featuring a knife-brandishing chef who accuses Prime Minister Scott Morrison of slashing wages and conditions.

The ad and plans for a stoush on the topic are likely to dominate in Parliament this week as Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter accused Labor of wanting to cut a quarter of the pay packet for casual workers.

Labor is stepping up its fight over industrial relations changes with a national advertising campaign.

Labor is stepping up its fight over industrial relations changes with a national advertising campaign.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has pitched a plan to create secure jobs, including forcing employers to offer a permanent position to any employee after two years or two fixed-term contracts, and to make a range of entitlements portable between jobs with different firms in the same industry. It sets up an alternative to the Morrison government’s industrial overhaul, which is struggling to win support in the Senate, in part because of a proposal to allow coronavirus-hit businesses to strike wages deals that leave workers worse off.

Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus says the opposition’s plan would be cost-neutral to employers because they wouldn’t have to pay casual loadings if staff became permanent and entitlements were offered.

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