Unions would be able to charge non-union workers a service fee for negotiating collective deals, pattern bargaining would be protected, statutory individual contracts abolished, political strikes and secondary boycotts legalised, greenfield sites scrapped, and all non-allowable matters restored to awards under a raft of IR legislative changes the ACTU wants made.
Jeff Shaw's surprise resignation today as NSW IR Minister looks like triggering a reshuffle in the State's front bench but also at the Labor Council, with secretary Michael Costa putting up his hand for Shaw's Upper House seat.
In a move that will add to the pressure state ALP governments are already under on employee entitlements, the ACTU today called on them to provide funds for workers who lose out when companies close or are liquidated.
The ACTU has outlined a multi-pronged approach to tackling job security and work/family issues, including support for a 36-hour week in some industries, and the continued pursuit of transmission of business cases when jobs are contracted out.
The ACTU has revealed it currently has an equity stake of less than 1% in the Virtual Communities venture that provides a PC and internet access to union members for around $10 a week. The Workplace Express team is reporting live from the ACTU Congress in Wollongong. For more Congress news go to www.workplaceexpress.com.au
The ACTU's executive could increase to 60 after ACTU Congress approved changes to ensure at least 50% representation by women. The "special affirmative action mechanism", will add up to 21 women to the executive.
In his address to the ACTU's Congress, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley has committed the ALP to putting core labour standards on the agenda of the World Trade Organisation, but rebuffed calls for fair rather than free trade.