Rudd says no to ACTU IR wish list

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Rudd says no to ACTU IR wish list

The trade union movement has no chance of getting its ‘wish list’ up as Labor’s industrial relations policy for the next federal election, Opposition leader Kevin Rudd has declared.

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The trade union movement has no chance of getting its ‘wish list’ up as Labor’s industrial relations policy for the next federal election, Opposition leader Kevin Rudd has declared.

In a radio interview yesterday Rudd said: ‘Do I intend to produce a set of industrial relations laws, for the country which is simply the ACTU wish list? Not on your Nelly — not on your Nelly.’
 
Complex area of law

Asked when he would tell people ‘the detail of the deals you’ve been negotiating with the trade union movement over new workplace relations laws?’, Rudd said: ‘Well, there are no deals.’ He said Labor was still ‘working our way through that’.

‘This is a complex area of industrial relations law,’ he said, but guaranteed that ‘by the time we go to the election and well in advance of that, you will have an absolutely clear-cut understanding of how an industrial relations system would work under us’.

‘When it comes to individual workplaces, my responsibility as the alternative Prime Minister of Australia, is to ensure fairness in the workplace, whether it is union represented or not,’ he said. ‘Unions don’t have any monopoly of industrial power.

‘Every person in every workplace will be able to choose who they negotiate through, whether that is unionised or non-unionised. My responsibility is to represent working families wherever they are.'

Not concerned about union decline

Rudd said there has been a debate recently about declining union membership.

'Am I concerned about that?’ he said. ‘My response to that is: that is a matter for trade unions to compete out there in the workplace themselves in terms of whether they have the confidence of workers to represent them in what is an increasingly adverse industrial relations system.’

However, his job as the alternative Prime Minister was to ‘ensure there is a national set of laws which looks after people, whether there are unions in the field or not’.

'And that’s what I’m determined to do,' Rudd said.

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