Democrats likely to back right of entry laws

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Democrats likely to back right of entry laws

Provided there are no ‘hidden surprises’ in the Bill, the Federal Government’s legislation on union right of entry to employer premises is expected to go through Parliament with the support of the Democrats.

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Provided there are no ‘hidden surprises’ in the Bill, the Federal Government’s legislation on union right of entry to employer premises is expected to go through Parliament with the support of the Democrats. 

The Democrats are reserving their decision to support the Bill, which will be introduced to Parliament tomorrow, until they have seen the details. 

However a Democrat staffer said Andrew Murray, the Party spokesman on Industrial Relations, had gone on record today as saying he doesn’t believe in two right of entry systems – State and Federal – applying to a workplace. 

The legislation will exclude the operation of State right of entry laws where Federal right of entry laws also apply. 

It will also give employers the right to make ‘reasonable requests’ about where discussions between union officials and employees occur. 

This would stop union officials having unfettered access to worksites. 

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations said the legislation addressed issues raised in two recent cases. 

In the case of BGC Contracting v CFMEU, the Federal Court found that unions could gain entry to sites under State right of entry law despite the fact that all workers on the site were working under Federal law and the Federal system denied the union right of entry. 

In the second case, the AIRC gave unions involved with the ANZ Bank the right to walk through and address workers anywhere in the workplace. 

Andrews claimed the legislation was ‘doing nothing more than reasserting what we believe has always been the status quo in relation to right of entry’.  

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Union officials, right of entry

 

 

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