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Corporate heavy weights put their self-interest first in attacks on trade unions

It's of little surprise that Australia's business heavy weights have joined the Liberal Party's political attack on trade unions, said Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"Reports that big wigs at an elite corporate event, the KPMG Couta Boat Classic, condemned unions are to be expected," Senator Rhiannon said.

"Many corporate CEOs back the Turnbull-Abbott government attacks on unions in the hope that it will help them bring in bigger profits.

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Tuesday in Newcastle - Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon to attend Williamtown contamination Senate Inquiry

The first hearing of the Senate Inquiry into the toxic contamination caused by firefighting foams at the Williamtown RAAF Base will be held tomorrow.

Over 100 submissions have been received.

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon, who initiated this Inquiry, will be one of the Senators in attendance to question witnesses. She is available for comment.

There will be a live audio feed tomorrow via this link.

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Call for local Liberal MPs to speak out against govt push to slash penalty rates

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has voiced her concern about the impact the loss of penalty rates will have on living standards in the Illawarra and has called on Liberal MPs in the Illawarra to publicly oppose the push to remove penalty rates and change the minimum wage. 

“Gutting Sunday rates for workers in regional areas like Illawarra would have a devastating impact on local economies and exacerbate inequality,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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BlueScope's profit result undermines attempts to shut down Port Kembla steelworks

BlueScope's $134 million profit, and the nine per cent increase in revenue from last financial year, undermine the company's claims that it needs "sacrifices from its workforce" at Port Kembla in order to remain profitable, Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said.

"BlueScope is threatening to shut down operations in Port Kembla, putting at risk tens of thousands of jobs across the Illawarra and the region's future economic viability," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Senate asks Abbott government to save Port Kembla steel industry

The Senate today has passed a Greens motion calling on the Federal government to intervene in the fate of BlueScope to save the steel industry in Port Kembla and 10 000 jobs.

Greens spokesperson for NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "The Senate's request for the federal government to act is about protecting existing jobs in the Illawarra while building a platform for the next generation of economic growth in the region.

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Statement by Senator: BlueScope Steelworks

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:04): The call 'Save our steelworks' is resonating around the Illawarra and today 'Save our steelworks' resonates in this parliament. Members of the South Coast Labour Council, the Illawarra branch of the Australian Workers Union and other unionists have travelled to Canberra to speak to MPs about the future of the Illawarra and the future of the steel industry. Action is needed by the New South Wales and federal governments. Steelmaking is vital for the Illawarra and critical to the economy of the whole country.

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