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Collective bargaining a good thing for SMEs

Collective bargaining could help smaller retailers achieve a fairer tenancy deal, particularly in shopping centres, says Graeme Samuel, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

 “I remain perplexed as to the unwillingness of centre tenants to engage in some form of collective bargaining with centre landlords – for surely this approach would offer a strengthened negotiating hand to tenants in their lease dealings.”

Improvements to the collective bargaining system via the ACCC should have led to greater transparency in retail tenancy, including sharing rent figures with neighbouring retailers. A compulsory register of retail leases is available in NSW, Queensland and the ACT. Other states, such as Victoria, have a voluntary register available.

The ACCC website (www.accc.gov.au)has more information on collective bargaining for retailers.

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