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Coalition will fight Industrial Relations changes

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10 October, 1993

Coalition will fight Industrial Relations Changes.

The Industrial Relations changes proposed. by the Keating Government are even worse than they originally seemed.

They will be totally opposed in the Parliament by the Liberal and National Parties.

It has now been revealed that relevant unions must be notified if bargaining commences between an employer and its non-unionised workforce.

This entrenches a "big brother" role for trade unions. Coupled with the right of union to argue before the Industrial Relations Commission that workplace agreements with non-unionised workers should not be ratified, it will mean in practice that virtually

no employer will bother to utilise Mr Brereton's much trumpeted second stream of workplace bargaining.

It is little wonder that the ACTU has warmly applauded the Government's plans. They represent unconditional surrender to vested union interests.

The Minister would best serve the national interest if he were to drop the changes altogether and leave the existing law exactly as it is.

Weakening the secondary boycott clauses in the current law is the most repugnant change of all.

This will place unions above the law and grant them privileges denied to the rest of the Australian community.

This change will particularly hurt small businesses which for the past 16 years have enjoyed some measure of protection against irresponsible union boycotts.

On the Sunday program today Mr Brereton gave a false version of what happens under the secondary boycott law. He totally ignored the fact that the ability to obtain a quick injunction from the

Federal Court ordering a.union to lift a secondary boycott was the major benefit of the present law.

It is this facility which in most cases makes it unnecessary for companies to proceed to the next step of suing for damages.

The Minister's so-called reform package is nothing other than a shameless pay back to unions for the support they gave Labour in the march election. Once again the Keating Government has failed to match the Nation's need. It is a government for sectional and not national