Industry slams IR laws

The Federal Government's new industrial relations system is more about resuscitating an ailing union movement than saving jobs, Australian Mines and Metals Association chief executive Steve Knott said.

The Federal Government’s new industrial relations system is more about resuscitating an ailing union movement than saving jobs, Australian Mines and Metals Association’s chief executive Steve Knott said.

“We have no problem with the Government’s reforms in the areas of employee safety nets and unfair dismissal laws, but the array of increased powers being slipped through by the Government under the guise of getting rid of Workchoices is frightening,” he said.

According to Knott, member companies of the AMMA have already confirmed that unions within the sector are promoting their new found increase in powers, with inter-union turf wars looming large and business IR transaction costs already on the rise in anticipation of the new system.

Knott said the Senate process had demonstrated some value, but fundamentally, the emphasis of the Fair Work Bill was on power to union bosses and not about creating jobs and improving productivity.

The Northern Territory Resources Council’s Scott Perkins agreed that Rudd’s industrial relations system would serve to slow productivity and mining development.

“These laws are going to put a break on development in the Northern territory,” Perkins said.

“They are going to make hiring a more conservative option for mining companies and generally speaking, they are going to slow down any potential development that we’re going to see after the current crisis goes away.”

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