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Meat Industry tallies go in award simplication



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THE HON PETER REITH MP

MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT WORKPLACE RELATIONS AND SMALL BUSINESS LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2600

24 September 1999 115/99

MEAT INDUSTRY TALLIES GO IN AWARD SIMPLIFICATION

The Federal Government has welcomed today’s landmark test case decision by a Full Bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to remove the tally system from the meat industry awards as part of the award simplification in that industry.

The decision is good news for the entire beef industry, meat processors, those involved in the $4 billion meat export industry and domestic consumers.

The Commission has decided that the tally system is complex, outdated and restricts or hinders the efficient performance of work. It has concluded that the tally system should be replaced by workplace based incentive schemes of remuneration.

Today’s decision edits 43 pages of proscriptive and inefficient provisions from the meat industry award. It is long overdue.

The tally system has often been described as the greatest obstacle to productive change in the industry. The Federal Government has been campaigning to end the tally system for three years.

The Commission’s decision is a significant step forward in improving workplace relations arrangements in the meat industry. It will encourage productive and efficient workplace focussed wages and conditions in this export sensitive sector of the economy. Already workplace agreements have been made under the Coalition’s reforms which have abandoned ' “the use of the tally system.

The removal of the tally system from industry-wide award regulation follows a lengthy debate both within the industry and in the Commission.

The Commonwealth government has long argued that the tally system in across the board awards did not operate in the public interest, and inhibited agreement makingr The Commonwealth intervened in the AIRC proceedings which led to today’s decision.

The Commonwealth has also introduced legislation in the federal parliament in the More - Jobs Better Pay Bill currently under debate to remove the tally system from award regulation.

That legislation, including the tally system, has been opposed by the unions and the ALP. Today’s decision not only supports this legislative proposal, but also exposes the fact that the scare campaign against the government’s award simplification is shallow and without merit.

For further information contact: Ian Hanke 0419 484 095