“Former union bosses Simon Crean and Martin Ferguson's intervention - to warn their successors that productivity is necessary for sustained wages growth - is welcome, but Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten should have been in the space months ago,” Senator Abetz said today.
“The Coalition has long said that exorbitant wage demands and ambit claims by some unions are unsustainable and risk closing down the investment pipeline.”
“This follows the report yesterday that one in five mining projects remains stalled due to a culture where employers are pressured to accept exorbitant claims or face lengthy delays to project timelines.”
“We know there is a militancy problem and a productivity problem,” Senator Abetz said.
“Labor embraced a 30% wage increase at Total Marine Services in Western Australia without any productivity offsets as a positive outcome, stating it was a sign of how well the Fair Work Act was working.”
“It's welcome that Senior Labor Ministers are now waking up to the issues with Julia Gillard's Fair Work Act,” Senator Eric Abetz said.
“For too long, Labor has taken a ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ approach regarding the Fair Work Act which has been to the detriment of employers and employees.”
“The sad thing is that Bill Shorten's wilfully curtailed review - despite advice from his Department – may well not examine or offer any solutions to the real problems with the Fair Work Act,” Senator Abetz said.
“Julia Gillard and Bill Shorten must now admit there is a problem and have a fair dinkum review.”
“Former Labor Treasurer and Simon Crean's father was right - 'one man's wage increase is another man's job'. A lack of understanding of workplaces in Australia has left Labor out of touch,” Senator Abetz said.