The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) is concerned the Federal Government's workplace relations legislation fails to protect the right of workers and employers to freely pursue industrial agreements that would regulate their workplace.
   The Catholic Weekly reports that the ACCER has criticised proposed amendments to the legislation in a submission to Federal Parliament.
   In its submission, the ACCER contends the Workplace Relations Amendment Bill 2000, introduced into the House of Representatives on 11 May, states that "employers and employees should not be constrained in their choice of agreement mechanisms or their scope. Nor should they be coerced into an agreement not of their choice".
   The submission, released last week, also criticised the removal of the right of employees to take protected industrial action in pursuit of workplace bargaining or pattern bargaining, which is considered to be a denial of the basic right of employees to take industrial action as a genuine last resort.
   In its analysis of the bill, the ACCER is concerned that the Government, in its attempt to introduce "two independent and distinct changes" to the Workplace Relations Act 1996, is skewing towards "preventing unions and employees from undertaking collective bargaining on an industry or multi-employer basis".
Cath Weekly
31 May 00


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