Bitter union fights are hurting miners: AMMA

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Bitter union negotiations are stalling big resources projects and threatening investor confidence, according to the Australian Mines and Metals Association.

In a submission to the Federal Government’s Fair Work Act review, the AMMA is pushing for unions to be excluded from negotiations on greenfield sites.

According to The Financial Review AMMA director Minna Knight said it was important the Government’s review looked at how to minimise the “bickering and turf wars” that took place between companies and unions.

“This sort of productivity-sapping behaviour is bad for all,” she said.

Knight said on occasions when unions made “reckless wage claims” or frustrated the agreement process, companies should be allowed to negotiate with workers through Fair Work Australia.

The AMMA said bitter negotiations with unions had on occasion wasted the valuable time of its members.

It said multiple unions could challenge companies often on “very technical grounds”.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union national secretary Dave Noonan told the Financial Review Knight’s comments were deceptive.

He said Knight was a “failed pro-Work Choices Liberal Party candidate” who was continuing to pursue policies similar Work Choices.

He said her comments were “part of a campaign to mislead the public”.

The CFMEU was not available for further comment this morning.

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