02/02/2011 - 12:39

Confidence in Fair Work dropping: survey

02/02/2011 - 12:39

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The resources sector says workplace relations have become substantially more difficult under Labor's Fair Work Act, with unions having an increased influence, according to a recent survey of employers.

Confidence in Fair Work dropping: survey

The resources sector says workplace relations have become substantially more difficult under Labor's Fair Work Act, with unions having an increased influence, according to a recent survey of employers.

A survey of resource industry employers undertaken by the Australian Mines and Metals Association and RMIT University found a significant decrease in employer confidence in the Fair Work Act over the six months to October 2010.

AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said the survey analysis found over the latest survey period levels of employer concern had risen significantly, with confidence in the new workplace relations system continuing to fall.

"Previously issues associated with bargaining for new enterprise agreements including the new union monopoly on agreement making for major projects were of major concern to employers," Mr Knott said.

"In addition to these concerns, over the six months to October 2010 we saw the increased presence of union representatives on worksites and rising union right of entry demands adding to employer concerns within the sector.

"It is clear from our latest survey findings increased union activity both in negotiations, as well as in the workplace itself, are having a major impact on levels of confidence in workplace relations arrangements under the Fair Work Act."

Mr Knott said the number of resource industry employers describing their workplace relations environment as either "good" or "excellent" has dropped dramatically from 54.4 per cent to just 32 per cent.

"This has been highlighted by a large jump in the number of employers who have described their workplace relations environment as "barely acceptable" - increasing from just 4.4 per cent to 29.2 per cent over the corresponding period." he said.

Mr Knott said respondent's other major concerns included: inflated wages; industrial action; termination and redundancy concerns; and the transition to modern awards.

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