Release type: Media Release


Abbott wants to punish women with a return to Work Choices


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Julia Gillard, today called on the Opposition Leader to come clean with the Australian people once and for all and admit the Coalition if elected would reintroduce Work Choices under a different name.

Mr Abbott speaking to Alan Jones on Sydney Radio this morning said he wanted a return to Mr Howard’s unfair industrial relations regime which he said “gave us higher wages”.

That would be news to Australia’s women workers who when on AWAs, on average, earned $87.40 less per week.

In addition to losing wages, they also lost conditions including penalty rates, overtime, redundancy pay and holiday leave.

In a sample of over 1700 AWAs lodged between April and October 2006, 89 per cent of those AWAs removed at least one award condition that the previous Government’s advertising had said was “protected”.

  • 31 per cent of those AWAs took away rest breaks.
  • 49 per cent took away overtime loadings.
  • 63 per cent removed incentive based payments and bonuses.
  • 65 per cent removed penalty rates.

Women were the big losers under Work Choices and again today Mr Abbott has again made it clear he’d like to see it return.