Opposition IR Shadow Minister cut from Reith cloth

Workforce Daily has a few interesting takes on Eric Abetz’s elevation to the IR portfolio as part of the new Opposition Shadow Ministry. (No link unfortunately, as it’s an email newsletter).


Abbott praised Abetz for his “long-interest in employment issues and his record of standing up for the rights of employees and small business in the area of workplace relations”.

Michael Keenan (who was dumped in favour of Abetz):

Former WR Shadow Michael Keenan was dropped from the front benches to justice and customs. “I appreciate his work in this area particularly in the significant amendments he was able to deliver to the Rudd Govt’s recent Fair Work Act,” Abbott said.

Paul Howes (AWU National Secretary):

AWU nat sec Paul Howes issued a statement immediately after the appointment was announced. “I had hoped the new Liberal leader would at least try to cover his tracks in his desire to return Australia to Work choice style laws – but with Senator Eric Abetz we now know that we will have all out engagement from here to the next Federal election,” Howes said.

More from the ACTU Media Release (no link yet):

Ms Burrow said the appointment of hardliner Eric Abetz to the Shadow Workplace portfolio is another sign that the Tony Abbott-led Liberals plan to bring back WorkChoices Mark II.

“Senator Abetz and Mr Abbott are industrial relations zealots.

“There is no doubt they want to bring back WorkChoices.

“Senator Abetz was intimately involved with the Coalition’s $121 million promotion of WorkChoices and wrote the notoriously deceptive ‘Protected By Law’ WorkChoices booklet.

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