Workplace relations overreach a generational threat to productivity

CCIWA CEO 

Chris Rodwell

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) views the workplace relations laws proposed in Canberra today as a threat to our economic prosperity.

The proposal exposes more WA businesses to strikes, and creates the risk of sector-wide strikes. It would force businesses with little in common to bargain together, against their choice.

This would pose one of the biggest threats to productivity in a generation, and stifle competition between businesses. It would result in complex, unsuitable, and expensive conditions being imposed on small and medium businesses. You cannot increase wages without increasing productivity.

A mandatory “one-size-fits-all” approach is something CCIWA and the whole Australian business community has warned against. It will contribute to more downward revisions of Australia’s productivity growth, and ultimately economic growth, as we saw in the Budget.

There are welcome updates to the “Better Off Overall” test, but far overshadowed by the impacts that would be felt under a system hard to distinguish from pattern bargaining.

It is critical that the Government enable this system to be ‘opt in,’ and consult with industry to amend the proposal.

The proposal will be discussed at tomorrow’s Small Business Summit, and CCIWA will make strong representations to the Government and travel to Canberra to raise the concerns of our thousands of members.

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