The Australian Mines and Metals Association says Australia should ditch its industry-specific award system which sets minimums for pay and conditions, and instead adopt a national standard.
AMMA chief executive Steve Knott on April 16 said the Australian Council of Trade Unions was looking to heavily re-regulate the nation’s workplace relations system, and governments need to push back.
“It is not new or remarkable that the ACTU is seeking mass re-regulation of Australia’s workplace relations system to put unions front and centre of all employment relationships,” Knott said. “Nor is it new or remarkable that the ACTU wants more power for the Fair Work Commission, a body established by the former Labor Government and stacked with ex-ALP operatives and union bosses.”
Knott said a future Bill Shorten-led ALP Government may adopt what the ACTU is calling for.
“Australian enterprises and workplaces are continually modernising and the ACTU has been left well behind,” he said.
“AMMA will be encouraging other peak employer groups to move to more future-focused discussions on workplace relations reform; one that sets Australia up to be more competitive in the global marketplace, and to attract new investment and create more jobs.”
AMMA has outlined three proposals to make Australia’s workplace relations system more competitive, including a reduction in red tape, improved options for individual agreement making, and the abolishment of the existing awards system.
“Australia should have one simple national foundation for minimum employment standards and employee protections,” Knott said.
“There is no justification for Australia being the only country in the world with an award system, let alone 122 awards.”