PIAA slams ACTU on enterprise bargaining

PIAA slams ACTU on enterprise bargaining
Association says trades union is declaring war on small business, fears effects for print

The Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) is denouncing the ACTU’s declaration  that enterprise bargaining has failed workers, with the union launching action plan to lift wages.  

As part of its campaign Change The Rules, the ACTU has revealed a six-point plan to raise wages for workers, which has been condemned by employers as a return to 1970s style industrial relations. Points in the plan include raising the minimum wage to a living wage, improving awards over time and changes to bargaining.

The ACTU says “Our bargaining rules are out of balance. They give too much power to employers making it far too hard for working people to negotiate their share of profits and productivity gains.

“Our laws should ensure there is balance in the system so working people can negotiate fair pay rises by ensuring workers can withdraw their labour as a last resort and can access to an independent umpire who can resolve issues.

“Enterprise-only bargaining is failing to deliver for the new economy, working people need more options, such as sector wide bargaining to make bargaining fair and efficient.”

[Related: AMWU rails against tax cuts]

Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the PIAA says, “The statements from ACTU to walk away from an enterprise bargaining system that ushered in one of the great periods of prosperity, opportunity and middle class growth in Australia’s history. The ALP and Coalition can both be proud of their leadership in this achievement.

“Enterprise bargaining has helped deliver 26 years of continuous economic growth. The majority of the print and packaging sector are SMEs, and enterprise bargaining has enabled agility. Business is not willing to throw this away.

“There are practical problems in the enterprise bargaining system that need to be fixed. We call on responsible unions to work with industry to fix the system, not destroy it.”

Sally McManus, secretary for the ACTU says, “Australia needs a pay rise and we have a plan that will deliver.”

 “Our plan will deliver an immediate wage increase for 2.3 million working people and restore the fair go for the lowest paid.

“The plan will also ensure that working people are not waiting for the non-existent trickle-down effect to occur. Profits are up and productivity is up, but wages are not. The only way to ensure working people get their fair share in pay rises is to ensure they have the power they need to negotiate them.

This will benefit every working person now and into the future. It is a permanent fix to unfair, low wage growth and will restore the balance to working people once again get a fair go at work.”

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