THE newly elected head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Ged Kearney, shall be attending a meeting of resource sector employers in Perth today.

Australia Mines and Metals Association [AMMA] Chief Executive, Steve Knott, said he hoped the meeting with Ms Kearney would be a constructive first-step in relations with the President-elect of the ACTU.

“Many union leaders appear to have quickly jumped to support the Federal Government’s new proposed resource sector tax – possibly without thinking about the potential impact it may have on workers or local communities.” Mr Knott said.

“We are pleased to have Ged Kearney, the newly elected President of the ACTU addressing the conference, as I’m sure some of our members will be keen to discuss this issue with her and also listen to her views.”

“In addition to the current issue of the resources tax, AMMA members are also keen to discuss with the ACTU some of the union movement’s ideas about increasing union powers and allowing pattern bargaining,” he said.

Mr Knott said that since the Federal Government had proposed its brand new tax on the sector, a significant focus has fallen on the capacity of operators to effectively plan both project start-up and recurrent operational costs, of which labour can be a considerable component for certain project types.

“The potential for disruptive union activity and illegal strike activity, as had been seen in the West over recent months, added a further element of uncertainty into an already unstable investment mix,” he said.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association’s National Conference will see hundreds of delegates from across Australia descend on Perth to discuss the impact of recently proposed taxation changes, as well as the effectiveness of the Government’s workplace, safety and migration laws on business and in workplaces.


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