Labor out of touch on work

THE WA Labor Party has put a nail in its own coffin with its stance on Industrial Relations.

By bending to the whims of the unions which serve only 15 per cent of the workforce, the Labor Party has alienated both small businesses and traditional Labor voters.

Labor’s promise to scrap the Workplace Agreements Act and reintroduce collective bargaining only serves to restore the power of trade unions and re-strengthen the role of the industrial relations commissions and the courts.

Labor’s stance has put the Chamber of Commerce offside, just when it was flirting with some of Labor’s policies on electricity reform and the rationalisation of the public service structure.

The policy was enough to prompt Austal Ships chairman to say it “was a hell of a worry” for the company.

That coming from a company which provided $10,000 toward the Labor party’s campaign.

Some 270,000 workers with workplace agreements will face an uncertain future if Labor were to win office on Saturday.

What Labor fails to understand is that both employers and employees have benefited from the system. Employers through productivity gain and employees through more job opportunities and in most cases better conditions.

A survey carried out by Independent MLC Mark Nevill of Pilbara mining workers found strong support for workplace agreements. In fact, more than twice that of those opposed to WPAs.

The miners, bitterly opposed to workplace agreements when they were first offered, have been won over with better pay and conditions.

The mining companies have also benefited through higher productivity.

Change this and WA’s mining industry could lose its competitive edge.

Labor’s Industrial Relations policy is out of touch with the modern workplace and today’s younger workforce. It is a policy of by-gone times.

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