The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has warned that the mining award has serious flaws, and has called for Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard to address the industry’s concerns.
The warning comes after the Australian Industrial Relations Commission handed down mining awards, designed to streamline and simplify awards and set a minimum standard for enterprise agreements.
The industry has concerns that the award puts workplace rostering flexibility at risk, at a time when rostering flexibility could help companies weather the current economic crisis.
AMMA’s recent submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Fair Work Bill warned the Senate Inquiry into the Fair Work Bill that the reforms could severely hamper workplace flexibility and exacerbate the economic downturn.
“Employers could face difficulties in hiring strike breakers during industrial action because this could be seen as ‘capricious or unfair conduct’ under the good faith bargaining provisions,” an AMMA statement said.
The AMMA has also slammed plans to impose old employment arrangements on companies that take over other businesses.
AMMA Spokesperson Minna Knight said the mining award and the Government’s 10 national employment standards, which take effect in 2010, could stop employees working 12-hour shifts.
Restrictions on annual leave could also create difficulty for fly-in, fly-out employees with inconsistent rosters, according to the AMMA.