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Amended employment laws will help lift jobs

Media statement Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Amended employment laws will help lift jobs

The amendments to the employment laws being passed into law today are reasonable, and will encourage employers to hire, sooner rather than later, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the EMA (Employers & Manufacturers Association).

"The law changes will give employers more confidence to hire people," Mr Lowe said.

"The sky didn't fall in when small businesses were able to use the 90 day employment trials in March 2009, despite dire predictions, and it won't next year either when the law is extended to all businesses.

"There is clear evidence that under trial employment periods employers have hired sooner than they otherwise would have.

"In fact the Australian union movement is recommending their government introduce a 90 day trial period.

"Under today's changes employers will have no grounds to deny a union official entry, if the union acts professionally and considers the business employees are working in.

"The few union officials who have behaved badly in the past (see below) will need to change their approach.

"Two big reasons for employers being slow to hire - personal grievances and the holidays laws - are also being addressed.

"The Government is to be congratulated for undertaking the changes being made though employers would have liked them to go further, particularly in further reducing the onerous compliance costs of the holidays' law."


Examples of union organisers' actions in entering workplaces without invitation

1. Going in the front entrance of a major fast food retail chain and in front of customers yelling at the supervisor that the staff are treated badly and paid poorly. The union organiser refused to leave when asked, stating they had a right to be on the premises.

2. Standing in the internal doorway of a business when union members were on strike to prevent non-union staff from coming in to work.

3. Reaching agreement with the employer to meet staff in the cafeteria for an agreed amount of time (as health and safety reasons prevented them from wandering around the workplace), then refusing to finish the discussion after the agreed time. The employer asked the meeting to be wound up but the union ignored the request.

4. A company employed mentally disabled people and the union had not informed the employer they were on site. The employer found the union asking these disabled staff to write their names on a piece of paper which turned out to be a union membership form. These staff said they did not understand they were joining the union.

5. A union organiser was in occupied hotel rooms containing guests' belongings talking to staff cleaning those rooms, a serious breach of security. The union had not advised the employer they were on site.

6. A union organiser demanded the employer agree and arrange access meetings at a date and (disruptive) times required by the union organiser. The union advised the employer that if they did not agree, the meetings would be held in retail areas to maximise customer disruption.

7. UTU squads have been formed to target businesses. "This company could be another early target of Unite Union "UTU (Unite The Union) squads" [31 August 2010, Mike Treen, National Director Unite Union].

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