THE Rudd Government faces growing business condemnation of its plan to allow a return to industry-wide union bargaining and an umpire's decision at the end of negotiations that fail. Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard is highly sensitive to the employers' concerns, dismissing claims that Labor's Fair Work legislation unveiled last week would revive the practice of "pattern bargaining".Opposition workplace relations spokesman Michael Keenan weighed into the debate saying that he was deeply concerned that the bill will increase unemployment.
But Ms Gillard is confronting protests from business groups led by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which argue a resurgence of union power would be inappropriate, especially during the global economic crisis.
Malcolm Turnbull has said Work Choices is dead and the Coalition accepts Labor's mandate to abolish the Howard government's regime. But Liberal MP Alby Schultz said yesterday he would break party ranks and vote against the bill, unless the Government agreed to amendments. >> more
Just as Australians understand that the Labor Party stands for deficits, they also understand that Labor stands for unemployment," he said, adding “The Deputy Prime Minister risks becoming the empress of unemployment.While Liberal backbencher Stuart Robert noted that the Government's bill breaks a promise regards unions' right of entry to workplaces.
These are things Mr Deputy Speaker did not vote for, in fact the Australian people were expressly and explicitly told the exact opposite … "They were told that many of these features would not be in any new legislation.