Except in the identity politics minds of the lobbyists there is no such thing as “business”. Via the AFR, the most outstanding example:
Employer groups are at war with one another over possible changes to the enterprise bargaining system, further damaging the prospects for the Morrison government of making any substantive industrial relations reform that would promote a jobs recovery.
…To the astonishment of union representatives, four of the five employer representatives expressed furious disagreement with proposals backed by Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council of Australia, representing big business, and the ACTU. They are now refusing any further engagement with the BCA, accusing it of not engaging in good faith bargaining by freewheeling with the ACTU.
The chief executives of the Australian Industry Group, Innes Willox, the Master Builders of Australia, Denita Wawn, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, James Pearson, and the Australian Mines and Metals Association, Steve Knott, will now write to the minister informing him they will put forward their own proposals and want nothing to do with the “fundamentally flawed” approach of the BCA and ACTU.
Ms Westacott and ACTU secretary Sally McManus had agreed preferential arrangements for union-backed enterprise agreements that would ensure these agreements were fast-tracked through the Fair Work Commission.
The trade-off was a softening of the wording around the “better off overall test”, known as the BOOT, that the Fair Work Commission interprets to mean no single worker can be worse off in negotiations over new enterprise agreements.
But the other employer representatives insisted any such commitment on the BOOT would have very limited practical effect while a preferential deal for union agreements would unfairly disadvantage non-union agreements and is wrong in principle and counter to existing law.
These whingers do not represent “business”. They represent sectoral interest groups out to gouge the public interest by promoting a destructive form of trickle-down economics that is anti-capitalist.
The angry group’s arguments are hogwash. If unions get better collective bargaining deals, then non-unionists will benchmark the same, or join the unions themselves. That’s what they are really whinging about.
Given the Aussie output gap, and attempts to reboot mass immigration, a shockingly weak labour market will need this support to prevent a rout of wages and collapse of demand. In turn, this will result is less investment, lower productivity and capital shallowing.
In short, the whingers don’t want to compete to advance, they want to grab a greater slice of the national income pie by capturing policy instead.
The BCA is actually doing something good, for once.