TONY Abbott is resisting a call by former Labor frontbencher and union leader Martin Ferguson to consider reforming industrial relations beyond his government’s election mandate, according to news from The Australia.
The former ACTU president and leader of the factional Left , who now advocates for the oil and gas industry, said the government’s proposed changes to the Fair Work Act need to ensure Australia is internationally competitive. Mr Ferguson is supporting the use of contractors and the restoration of the Howard-era Australian Building and Construction Commission, and warning that productivity must improve or unemployment will rise and living standards will fall.
Mr Ferguson suggests that a workplace relations system that drives investment to other countries is in nobody’s interest, certainly not those union members and their families who will be bargaining themselves out of a future, reported by The Telegraph News.
He called for a debate about reintroducing the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner as the nation considers how workplace relations can help attract investment.
However the Prime Minister today resisted Mr Ferguson’s call to be “open-minded” about the need for further reform to the Fair Work Act beyond the “quite modest” proposals that were taken to the election.
Mr Abbott insisted his election mandate included some “significant developmental changes to the existing Fair Work Act” that would “certainly help to boost productivity in very important sectors, and that’s going to be good for jobs and good for prosperity”.
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