Restrictions on contractors are unlawful — pattern bargaining says Ai Group

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Restrictions on contractors are unlawful — pattern bargaining says Ai Group

The Australian Industry Group has notified Fair Work Australia of its opposition to the approval of six further enterprise agreements that replicate the terms of an Electrical Trades Union pattern agreement for the electrical contracting industry in Victoria.

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The Australian Industry Group has notified Fair Work Australia (FWA) of its opposition to the approval of six further enterprise agreements that replicate the terms of an Electrical Trades Union (ETU) pattern agreement for the electrical contracting industry in Victoria.
 
Ai Group chief executive Heather Ridout provided the background to this notification.
‘In proceedings before FWA [on 04/04/11], Counsel for Ai Group argued that the clauses in an initial enterprise agreement reflecting the union’s pattern agreement were unlawful.
 
The clauses in contention impose restrictions on contractors, union right of entry and the promotion of union membership by employers.’
Control over building sites
 
Ridout continued:
‘These clauses would give unions much greater control over building sites and would mark a return to the damaging practices of the past when unions stopped all contractors coming on to a site unless they had industrial arrangements acceptable to them.
 
Along with Ai Group, the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) has been granted the right to intervene in the FWA proceedings.
 
Further written submissions will be filed in the proceedings over the next week or so before the FWA makes a decision on whether the clauses are unlawful.
 
Ai Group is urging employers in the electrical contracting industry not to sign the ETU’s pattern agreement. In addition to the unlawful nature of various clauses in the agreement, several clauses are inconsistent with the National Construction Code and Implementation Guidelines.
 
Employers risk being locked out of Federal and State Government construction work if their agreements are not Code-compliant.’
 
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