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IR test case hearing

A TEST case is looming that could change WA’s industrial relations landscape.

The Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union wants new employees to be given the choice of taking award conditions or entering into a workplace agreement.

It has lodged an application with the WA Industrial Relations Commission to have the freedom of choice provision entered into the Contract Cleaners Award.

The commission is treating the application as a test case and will hold a hearing towards the end of October.

Under WA’s Workplace Agreement Act, only existing employees have such a choice.

A Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokesman said it would oppose the application on behalf of its members in the industry.

“We’re more concerned about the Australian Labor Party’s industrial relations policy,” he said.

The ALP has the power, if elected, to overturn WA’s Workplace Agreements Act.

Combined Small Business Associations of WA president Oliver Moon said the MWU’s application, if successful, would create a precedent that would affect other industries.

“It is an attack on an employer’s freedom of choice,” Mr Moon said.

“It’s an attempt by the unions to water down the Workplace Agreements Act and reassert their influence.”

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