Employer slams new IR laws as ‘worst since Federation’

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Employer slams new IR laws as ‘worst since Federation’

The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has attacked the new Federal IR laws before they were even tabled in Parliament, saying they give unions the greatest increase in power since Federation.

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The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has attacked the new Federal IR laws before they were even tabled in Parliament, saying they give unions the greatest increase in power since Federation.
 
AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said this morning the Fair Work Bill was ‘more about resuscitating an ailing union movement, not improving business conditions and job prospects for ordinary Australians’.
 
‘Today’s introduction of the Federal Government’s Fair Work Bill will give the Australian union movement the greatest increase in power since Federation,’ Knott said.
 
Union membership wars
 
‘These new union rights will shift the focus from productivity and job creation to fending off disruptive union membership turf wars and dealing with red tape associated with union requests for information under the deceptive “good-faith bargaining” system.’
 
Knott said the Government’s proposed legislation also limits any remaining capacity for employers and employees to freely enter into agreements within the workplace without union involvement.
 
He said under the legislation unions need only one member in a workplace to be involved or notified at every level of the workplace agreement-making process, even when the overwhelming majority of workers are opposed to their involvement.
 
Damaging laws
 
Knott accused the Federal Government of using the complexity of workplace relations ‘to push through some of the most damaging laws we have seen in a decade’.
 
He said the laws would give a multitude of union the keys to the door of all Australian businesses, including the 90% who currently have no dealings with unions.
 
Knott said overlapping union coverage rules, combined with enhanced right of entry, will facilitate the re-ignition of long dormant union turf wars with membership coverage battles being fought in the workplace.
 
AMMA was represented on the Committee on Industrial Legislation (COIL), which assessed the Bill and offered suggestions to the Government on changes last month.
 
Knott said the Bill will:
  • allow unions to access non-union employee records
  • increase union rights by watering down the existing sensible right of entry laws
  • require union members to have the union as their default bargaining representatives
  • allow unions to force employers to disclose confidential business information under the guise of good-faith bargaining
  • allow unions to apply to Fair Work Australian to impose outcomes on business.
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