AMMA slams workplace changes

MOVES by the federal government to legislate union site entry laws are unjust and break more industrial relations promises, the Australian Mines and Metals Association says.
AMMA slams workplace changes AMMA slams workplace changes AMMA slams workplace changes AMMA slams workplace changes AMMA slams workplace changes

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Lauren Barrett

AMMA is calling for the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013 to be rejected by the senate when it resumes later this month, following last week’s decision that saw the union-friendly laws passed by the lower house.

“This amendment bill extends a legislative right for unions to impose themselves into employee lunchrooms, despite 87 per cent of private sector workers saying ‘thanks but no thanks’ to union membership,” AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said.

“These site entry positions will inflict further unnecessary costs and productivity impacts on Australian resource employers as they are forced to play the role of tour guide to union officials on remote specialist mining, oil and gas operations.”

According to Knott, the laws seek to fix a problem that does not exist.

The existing system allows for the Fair Work Commission to involve itself and make rulings in the smaller number of disputes that arise over union site access or where they conduct their meetings.

“Every LNG platform in the country, every offshore construction vessel and site, and every remote mining operation In Australia will be left defenceless to militant union officials if the Senate passes these amendments,” Knott said.

AMMA said the proposed workplace changes come in addition to the federal government demoting two Howard-era appointed Fair Work Commission vice presidents and demonising the small number of highly valued 457 foreign workers in Australia.

“The events of the past few days show just how rushed and ill-considered the government’s approach has been, with backroom deals being done and then reneged upon at the eleventh hour,” Knott said.

“These amendments represent another industrial favour to the governments union backers is an expensive election year.”

AMMA urged the senate to vote against the Fair Work Amendment Bill when the proposed legislation comes before it.

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