Attorney-General Christian Porter appears close to winning crossbench support for the government’s industrial relations bill and determined to secure its passage when Parliament resumes next week.
Mr Porter has agreed to additional amendments proposed by One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson and the government has listed the union-busting Ensuring Integrity bill on the Senate’s draft program for Monday.
The government needs the support of either One Nation or Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie to get the bill through the upper house, after negotiating initial amendments with Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick.
The One Nation amendments aim to to ensure only officials convicted of criminal offences – or fined over significant workplace law breaches – can be disqualified under the legislation, which will make it easier to deregister law breaking unions and ban officials.
But it also does this:
But the infractions that could risk unions getting shut down, or their officials kicked out, are far-reaching, and include the kinds of strike action that have, in the past, received widespread community support.
- Striking for reasons that aren’t related to an ongoing enterprise bargaining agreement negotiation or proposed changes to an award rate — 300-1000 penalty units
- Submitting paperwork or financial reports late to the union watchdog — 500 penalty units
- Failing to remove a non-financial member from the list — 300 penalty units
- Failing to train an office holder in financial management within six months of them starting — 500 penalty units.
Professor Anthony Forsyth of RMIT’s Graduate Business and Law School told Crikey there were already legal avenues to bring unions into line: employers can seek an order from the Fair Work Commission or the Supreme Court to end a workplace protest, while the government could apply to have a union deregistered if it breaks the law.
Which will squash wages even further as the correltion between declining strikes and declining wage growth suggests (while being far from the whoe story):
In the battler versus bludger ON world view, this somehow all makes sense.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.
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