Crossbenchers and government deny workers voice in big project negotiations


Greens industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said he is disappointed that crossbench Senators joined with the Coalition to deny workers on big projects a voice on their wages and conditions. Crossbench Senators voted with the government to pass the amended Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 today.

“It is disappointing that crossbench Senators have done a deal with the government that denies workers on big projects a voice on their wages and conditions,” Mr Bandt said.

“Their move means that employers are now able to bargain with themselves and unilaterally determine wages and conditions on large projects without having to negotiate with workers and unions.”

“It goes far beyond the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s draft report into workplace relations.”

“Instead of employers and unions to negotiating a decent agreement on wages and conditions that works for both parties, employers can now just wait it out for 6 months and the Fair Work Commission will accept whatever the employer has put on the table.”

“The Greens tried to amend the act so that it would give people better control of their work/life balance, but instead the crossbench and the government have removed the ability of workers on big projects to take control of their working lives.”

“This is another piece in the puzzle in the government’s mission for a return to WorkChoices,” said Victorian Senator Janet Rice.

“For people working on big new developments, this will mean lower wages and worse conditions.”