Wharfies and Seafarers Join Inland Election Baattle

Newcastle wharfies and seafarers will swap ships and docks for the streets of Raymond Terrace on Monday to campaign against the election of an Abbott Government in solidarity with Labor candidate for Paterson Jim Arneman.

Paterson is proving to be one of the tightest seats in the upcoming federal election with maritime workers warning that returning the incumbent Bob Baldwin would mean the resurrection of the old IR regime - WorkChoices by another name.

Maritime Union Campaigns Organiser Glen Williams said that the record of both Tony Abbott and Bob Baldwin shows that neither can be trusted when it comes to industrial relations policy.

"The record of Mr Abbott's three-year period as Workplace Relations Minister in the Howard Government says it all," said Mr Williams.  "Abbott laid the foundations for WorkChoices.

"The fact that Mr Baldwin voted over 20 times in support of WorkChoices shows how out of touch he is with young working families in the Paterson electorate."

The MUA stands strongly opposed to Tony Abbott's failure to release an industrial relations policy halfway into the election campaign.

"We believe that the time has come for the opposition leader to answer some basic questions about his plans for Australian workplaces," said Mr Williams.

"Tony Abbott must tell the Australian public the truth about his plans for unfair dismissal, minimum employment standards, redundancy, and individual contracts."

The union supports Jim Arneman's delivery of historic health reform including the new GP Super Clinic at Nelson Bay, a Medicare license for the East Maitland MRI Machine and a Medicare license for the PET scanner at the Mater Hospital in the Hunter.

Mr Williams said that Bob Baldwin's refusal to debate Mr Arneman over health issues concerning the Paterson electorate is condemned by all members of the Northern NSW Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia and serves only to reinforce how little he cares about the big issues within the electorate.

Contact Details | Glen Williams 0401 271 740