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The new IR Laws and the Cowra Abattoir

Trying to work out what happened in Cowra in relation to the sacked - and then un-sacked - 29 workers at the local abattoir has been impossible.

Federal Workplace Relations Minister Andrews, and his fellow Cabinet Ministers, just would not answer the simple and direct question whether what the employer had done at the Cowra abattoir in sacking the 29 workers and then offering most of them re-employment at a lower wage was legal under the new IR laws.

Listening to commentators and lawyers on the ABC's AM or PM program did not clarify things - although the consensus seemed to be that the employer was acting within the law in doing what it did.

Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett has on his web site sought to shed some light on the matter. Read his piece here.

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