In a move that the government has dismissed as a political stunt, the ACTU has told Employment Minister Eric Abetz he should suspend his IR legislative agenda for at least a year to enable the Heydon trade union inquiry and the Productivity Commission Fair Work Act review to run their course.
In a wide-ranging attack on the Heydon Royal Commission, ACTU assistant secretary Tim Lyons has dubbed it as part of a conservative agenda to restrict "organising, industrial action, right of entry, public campaigning, political action and expenditure, litigation, access to arbitration and the right to be self-governing".
The Senate's Education and Employment Legislation Committee has recommended today that the upper house pass the government's Fair Work Amendment Bill unamended, with the ALP and the Greens tabling separate reports opposing the legislation.
Flagging new strategies to give workers a collective voice, ACTU assistant secretary Tim Lyons has rejected recent calls for an "accommodation" with employers and told unions not to be afraid of conflict and controversy.
The Coalition has largely succeeded in neutralising IR as a 2013 federal election issue by promising to retain – at least for one term – Labor's Fair Work framework, but Australia's two major parties are still going to the September 7 poll with some significant policy differences, including on paid parental leave, right of entry, and construction industry regulation. Workplace Express compares their IR policies and those of the Greens, whose future hold on the Senate balance of power is uncertain.