ACTU leader Sally McManus has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, asking him to implement a three-point plan that would lift aggregate annual wage growth from the current level of about 2.3% to about 3.5%.
The re-election of the Morrison Coalition Government has preserved the features of the current industrial relations system, but left unanswered questions over its workplace agenda for the next three years.
The Victorian Labor government has flagged it will aim for modest annual pay rises of 2%, setting the scene for an arm-wrestle with public sector unions in bargaining over a series of major enterprise agreements.
The ACTU's triennial Congress has endorsed a proposal for state and federal governments to enact industrial manslaughter laws, after maritime union leader Chris Cain told delegates that employers who recklessly kill workers should face $20 million fines and 20 years behind bars.
Unions will next week consider pushing for stronger remedies for unfair dismissal by adopting measures such as removing the $73,000 compensation limit, enabling employees to pursue more than their lost income and empowering them to seek penalties against employers.
United Voice secretary Jo Schofield has made it clear that the union won't accept "baby steps" in moving to a universal industry bargaining system if Labor wins the next election, saying a misplaced trust in enterprise bargaining has been damaging for its members.