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Labor to repeal contracts

INDIVIDUAL workplace contracts will be a thing of the past under a WA Labor Government.

The Labor Party wants to repeal WA’s Workplace Agreements legislation.

Labor Industrial Relations spokesman John Kobelke said individual workplace contracts were unfair.

“They have led to WA having the lowest standard of wages in Australia,” Mr Kobelke said.

“We have the greatest disparity between wages for men and women in Australia and – largely due to workplace agreements.”

Combined Small Business Associations of WA president Oliver Moon said removing

individual workplace agreements would be catastrophic for small businesses.

“Workplace agreements have been a boon for small business,” Mr Moon said.

“It’s allowed them flexibility as long as they met minimum conditions of employment such as four weeks annual leave.”

Mr Kobelke said he could not give any detail as it was not due to release its industrial relations direction statement until August.

“However, we will allow employers to employ outside the awards system,” he said.

“We will have more safeguards for employees.

“There will also be genuine choice for employees. They have no genuine choice at the moment.

“We appreciate some people are happy with their agreements and we’re not going to deny them that.”

Mr Moon said Labor was proposing a return to the days of collective bargaining.

“Small businesses don’t want these agreements because when they are tendering for a job they are tendering on the basis of paying staff award rates.

“Pattern agreements such as those that have come out of Victoria lately are frightening.

“One requirement is that a small business’ employees that are not members of a union must pay $500 a year to the union that represents their sector.

“These are not agreements. These are simply stand and deliver.”

Mr Kobelke said the WA system would not be like Victoria’s.

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