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October 18, 2017

A Shorten Labor Government will ensure that collective bargaining is not undermined by sham agreements.
A complicit Turnbull will not act to stop the increasing corporate gaming of our industrial relations laws, but a Labor government will.
Currently, some employers are getting away with using a small cohort of employees to vote up inferior enterprise agreements, which are then used to reduce the pay and conditions of other much larger and often very different workforces.
Labor believes that collective bargaining should not be able to be undermined by these sham collective agreements, often referred to as no-stake agreements.
Labor will legislate to make clear that the workers who vote on an agreement must be broadly representative of the workers who may ultimately be covered by the agreement.
It will no longer be possible to specify that an agreement signed up to by workers in one place covers people employed in very different locations.
It will no longer be possible to have short-term casual workers reach agreement on terms that bind permanent workers.
Labor will also change the law so that workers and their unions can apply to the Fair Work Commission to re-negotiate sham enterprise agreements.
This announcement builds on a long list of Labor policies to improve our industrial relations laws including preventing employers from choosing the nuclear option of terminating agreements; preventing employers forcing their workers into sham contracting arrangements; combatting phoenixing; implementing a national labour hire licensing scheme; and defining “casual work”.
Turnbull and his Liberals have not taken any action that improves the bargaining position of employees relative to employers.
In fact, they are so out of touch, they have actively encouraged employers to engage in tactics to game the fair work laws and cut workers’ wages and conditions.
Australians deserve a government that understands that the challenges in Australia’s labour market and workplaces are real and puts people’s wellbeing above corporate profits.