Democrats reject anti-pattern bargaining Bill

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Democrats reject anti-pattern bargaining Bill

The Federal Minister for Workplace Relations, Peter Reith, has been unable to broker a deal with the Australian Democrats to preserve his new legislation, which would have made pattern bargaining illegal.

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The Federal Minister for Workplace Relations, Peter Reith, has been unable to broker a deal with the Australian Democrats to preserve his new legislation, which would have made pattern bargaining illegal. Described as tenacious and persistent, the Minister was trying to avoid the prospect of another of his industrial reforms not seeing the light of day.

On June 5 2000, the Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education Legislation Committee handed down its report into the Workplace Relations Amendment Bill 2000, which was tabled in Parliament by Mr. Reith on 11 May 2000. Holding the balance of power in the Senate, the focus of the report was on the position of the Australian Democrats.

The Minority report of the Democrats labelled Mr. Reith’s Bill an over-reaction that went too far in denying unions the right to industrial action during normal bargaining. The Industrial Relations Commission, they claim, has sufficient power to deal with industry-wide campaigns. However, Democrats Leader Meg Lees has said her party will watch Campaign 2000 (the Victorian metalworkers' pattern bargaining campaign) 'with interest', and if it becomes unmanageable, legislation might be supported.

 
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