Nationals Leader Warren Truss has spoken out about the Federal Government’s proposed Fair Work Bill, claiming it does more than restore former industrial relations laws: “They’ve done deals clearly with the trade union movement and this legislation goes way beyond what they were given a mandate for from the Australian people,” he says.
The proposed workplace laws include giving union officials the right to enter a place of work and request records. The Opposition is concerned that this will affect employer privacy.
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Julia Gillard denies this is the case. “Privacy obligations under the Privacy Act clearly apply when unions are exercising this very limited power to look at records directly, relevant to a suspected breach of industrial relations law.”
Having met with the Greens Party, independent senator Nick Xenophon, and Family First senator Steve Fielding yesterday, Gillard has flagged several amendments to clarify union powers as well as clearly address the role of Fair Work Australia and the safety net proposed for workers.
A Senate debate over the Fair Work Bill is scheduled for this fortnight.
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