Energy policy, IR changes urgent

Original article by Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 7 : 26-Jul-19

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has backed comments by top bureaucrat Martin Parkinson on the nation’s declining productivity rate. Willox says that uncertainty regarding energy and carbon emissions policy has contributed to Australia’s underperformance in terms of productivity growth, and he has urged action on these issues. Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has in turn stressed the need for industrial relations reforms in order to lift productivity. Parkinson will shortly retire as the head of the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

It is time we all acted on the unions’ lawlessness

Original article by James Pearson
The Australian – Page: 14 : 26-Jul-19

The Ensuring Integrity Bill aims to make registered organisations accountable for their actions in the same way as banks and corporations are held to account for their wrongdoings. The proposed legislation will apply equally to unions and employers’ associations, yet the former oppose it and the latter support it. This raises the question of why unions are reluctant to be held to account. Registered organisations and the individuals who run them enjoy special rights and privileges, and the bill will help to restore public confidence in them.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, BUILDERS’ LABOURERS’ FEDERATION

Transfer of money from workers’ fund theft of wages

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 25-Jul-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter says transferring money from workers’ entitlement funds to unions or employers’ groups is no more acceptable than the underpayment of staff. The federal government’s Workers Benefit Bill aims to crack down on such practices, with Porter citing examples such as the transfer of money from the Protect fund to the Electrical Trades Union. He says this occurred "for no reason". The Protect fund is jointly run by the ETU and the National Electrical Contractors Association.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, THE NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS’ ASSOCIATION, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Showdown brewing over union ban laws

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 23-Jul-19

ACTU president Michele O’Neill has expressed concern that a key provision of the federal government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill could be misused. It allows any party with a vested interest to apply to the Federal Court to have a union official disqualified. O’Neill warns that this provision could be exploited in order to remove union officials for relatively minor breaches. Attorney-General Christian Porter has downplayed such concerns, arguing that the bill is consistent with Australia’s international obligations.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Hues of Brazil dictatorship in anti-union bill

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 18-Jul-19

The Ensuring Integrity Bill’s compliance with international conventions to which Australia is a signatory has been called into question. The International Centre for Trade Union Rights claims that the bill breaches international conventions regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining. Amongst other things, the bill is aimed at making it easier to deregister unions and to ban union officials. The federal government hopes the bill will be passed by the lower house within weeks.

CORPORATES
INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR TRADE UNION RIGHTS, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION

Revamped bill to test ALP on forcing out rogue union bosses

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 17-Jul-19

The House of Representatives is slated to vote on the federal government’s amended Ensuring Integrity Bill within weeks. There have been significant changes to the bill in response to Labor’s concerns about the proposed legislation, but shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke has warned that the amendments are insufficient and are also likely to be opposed by Labor. The bill is aimed at making it easier to deregister unions and ban union officials.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA

IR reform urgent for economy

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 8-Jul-19

Business leaders have identified changes to the industrial relations system as a priority for the federal government following the passage of its income tax cuts package. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox and Australian Resources & Energy Group CEO Steve Knott say the reform agenda should include changes to the ‘better off overall test’ for enterprise agreements, passing the Ensuring Integrity Bill and Proper Use of Worker Benefits Bill, and a review of unfair dismissal and adverse action laws. They argue that major changes to the Fair Work Act are not necessary.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES AND ENERGY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Business urges new work rules

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Jun-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison discussed the federal government’s industrial relations policy in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Western Australia on 24 June. Business leaders have outlined the workplace reforms they would like to see during the Coalition’s third term in office. Australian Mines & Metals Association CEO Steve Knott says an overhaul of the enterprise bargaining system should be a priority, as well as changes to the ‘better off overall test’. Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson in turn has called for changes to small business dismissal laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED. CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK

PM targets red tape, IR reform

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Jun-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will use a speech on 24 June to signal that the federal government may be open to industrial relations reform. He will stress that any such reforms must be evidence-based and protect the rights and entitlements of workers, and he will urge the business sector to build a case for workplace reforms. Morrison will also commit to a review of regulatory and bureaucratic processes that deter companies from investing in their business, while he will identify changes to the vocational training sector as a priority for the Council of Australian Governments.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (INCORPORATED)

Porter has mandate to restructure workplace tribunal: employers

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 28-May-19

Australian Mines & Metals Association CEO Steve Knott says the Fair Work Commission needs to approve enterprise agreements more quickly, arguing that the often lengthy delays at present are unacceptable. He says one option may be to give the Fair Work Ombudsman responsibility for approving workplace deals. Knott has urged new Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter to undertake a review of the FWC’s performance and processes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), RMIT UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY