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Corporate collapses show need for workplace democracy.

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15 November 2002 (Embargoed until 3.45pm)

Corporate collapses show need for workplace democracy Recent corporate collapses and excesses show the need for greater workplace democracy in Australia, according to Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations, Robert McClelland.

“The extent of corporate mismanagement and indeed blatant greed demonstrated among some senior executives has, I believe, shown the need for greater workplace democracy,” said Mr McClelland in a speech to ACIRRT in Sydney today.

“Greater accountability not only to shareholders but also to employees has become imperative.

“I strongly believe that if there were an effective system for the exchange of information between management and employees, we may have avoided some of the recent corporate collapses such as Coogi, One.Tel, National Textiles and Ansett.”

In addition to restoring employee consultation to the award safety net, appropriate models for consultation could be implemented through enterprise agreements, according to Mr McClelland.

“It would not be unreasonable to require certified agreements to provide a framework for consultation between workers and management.

“The Industrial Relations Commission could play a valuable role in inquiring into appropriate model provisions to guide the parties in the development of this approach.”

While workplace consultation has been stripped away by the Howard Government’s laws, Labor believes it is fundamental to creating a better quality of working life and higher productivity for Australians.

It makes good industrial sense, and good economic sense.

For further information: Robert McClelland 0408 118 995 Jonathan Kirkwood 0425 231 690

Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow M inister for W orkplace Relations

Robert McClelland MP