Tony Burke admits to making concessions and making ‘changes’ in Industrial relations bill after talks with businesses #Tony #Burke #admits #making #concessions #making #Industrial #relations #bill #talks #businesses #englishheadline


Workplace relations minister Tony Burke has revealed amendments to his controversial industrial relations bill after a week of negotiations and criticism from the business community.

The industrial relations reforms were introduced to Parliament in late October and have been vehemently opposed for its plans to expand multi-employer bargaining and granting greater powers to the Fair Work Commission.

Labor argues that the bill will drive up wages – a key election promise – but those disputing the legislation believe it will open the door to more strikes and industrial actions, disrupting supply chains.

Mr Burke has admitted to making some concessions within the bill while appearing on Englishheadline Australia on Sunday morning after discussing it further with business groups. 

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The first of those compromises will be to ensure employees don’t get swept up in industrial actions that they don’t want to be a part of by excluding them if they vote against the action at any stage.

“It will be changed so that to be part of an agreement, where you’re getting a majority of the staff… it’s employer by employer, where that’s counted,” Mr Burke told Englishheadline Australia’s Andrew Clennell.

He also indicated that the Albanese government may consider a grace period before employers can get roped into multi-employer bargaining agreements.

The timeframe would allow old agreements to expire, however, it would be a shorter 6 month period then the 12 months proposed by businesses.

“We are considering that …but six months and effectively the concept here is it’s often the case even when there’s good faith bargaining happening, that you don’t get the next agreement up the moment the old ones expired,” he said.

The Labor MP defended against criticism that the bill – which will face the House of Representatives this week – was being rushed.

“The rush is what’s being felt around every kitchen table… they need their wages to move,” Mr Burke said.

“14 percent of the workforce are on a single employer agreement that’s in date and that’s a big part of the story of wages not moving.

“If you’re on an agreement then you’re being paid better than if you’re on an award.” 

Mr Burke maintained that higher wages come from agreements stuck and that single-employer agreements are at the heart of the bill reform, despite controversy throughout the week around the multi-employer bargaining.

The controversy included the resources and mining sector issuing a threat to the Albanese Government to launch a $20 million ad campaign against the bill, unless the sector is exempt from the changes.

Australian Resources and ­Energy Employer Association explained that unions would exploit the new changes by making claims they know employers would disagree with, resulting in the Fair Work Commission determining pay and conditions.

Nationals leader David Littleproud welcomed pushback from the business community about Labor’s proposed workplace reforms and warned ultimately they’d cost Australians more at the checkout.

“I get the ideology, Labor’s very much aligned to that, but ultimately in life someone has to pay and that ultimately means the Australian taxpayer will pay … that’s why businesses have been concerned,” he told Englishheadline Australia on Sunday.

English Headline

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