THE Industrial Relations policies the Federal Government and Opposition plan to take to the next Federal election should be released now according to the nation’s resources and energy sectors leading employer organisation.
Chief Executive of the Australian Mines and Metals Association, Steve Knott, has today called on both the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, to engage in debate and discussion with the Australian public over the future direction of issues in Australian workplaces.
Mr Knott said he was urging public release of the industrial relations policies as his membership had recently been expressing key concerns over the areas of agreement making, industrial action and union right of entry,”
“AMMA’s role is to take such concerns forward in a constructive and bipartisan manner in the hope that we can achieve a practical and sensible policy compromise, free of the political argy-bargy, and which is in the best interests of the nation.” Mr Knott said
“We had hoped the introduction of the Federal Government’s latest round of changes to the Fair Work Act would have seen a shift to a more modern approach which delivered on the aspirations of our members to create job opportunities in an environment free of the disruptive strike activity.”
“Unfortunately however, it would appear that in the rush to destroy the former Work Choices regime the industrial relations pendulum has been pushed too far back the other way. This has resulted in Australia developing a regime which curtails our ability to offer workplace solutions flexible enough to accommodate the current and future needs of both employers and employees alike.”
Mr Knott said most Australians recognised that past reforms which had allowed minimum conditions to be undercut were a step too far.
“We are pleased to see that even the Federal Opposition Leader has publicly recognised this fact. He now needs to clearly enunciate an alternate policy vision, which assures both employers and the general public alike of a genuine reform agenda which is underpinned with a system of fair and reasonable protections for workers while at the same time delivering the flexibility modern Australian workplaces need.”
“Similarly, the Rudd Government needs to accept the reform agenda it has already introduced is not perfect and adopt those reforms necessary to overcome the escalating levels of industrial disputation and increasingly complex industrial relations model it has forced onto modern Australian workplaces which not only has an impact on employers, but in many cases has a detrimental affect on hard working Australian employees.”