WAWAs would stay in one IR system: Reith

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WAWAs would stay in one IR system: Reith

Despite his belief that a unitary industrial relations system would be better for Australian workers, federal Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith has said there would be provision for state-based individual agreements to exist within that framework.

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Despite his belief that a unitary industrial relations system would be better for Australian workers, federal Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith has said there would be provision for state-based individual agreements to exist within that framework.

 

Mr Reith, who launched two discussion papers into the unitary system yesterday, told the West Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry last week that West Australian Workplace Agreements should continue in the future even with a unitary system.

‘My view about WA agreements is they should continue on into the future’, he told the group. ‘They are a very good form of agreement. What a difference it’s made to the iron ore industry and other industries in Western Australia.

‘We ought to hang onto the good things and they are good things because they give people choice. I do think we ought to have a genuine debate about whether we have a single or duplicative award systems and there I do think a lot of change would, in fact, reduce compliance costs on business and be beneficial to all.’

Mr Reith also told the business forum that while there were only 130,000 Australian Workplace Agreements in operation, the mere existence of AWAs had boosted productivity.

‘I can take you to coal mines in Queensland where there may only be five people on an AWA but I can tell you for a fact the mere fact that the company has said the AWAs are on the table, they’ve had a real impact in the way in which the parties at work have been prepared to sit down and come to sensible changes to get the productivity improvements we need’, he said.

 

 

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