The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the peak mining body, has attacked, workers, their unions, Australia’s industrial relations framework and the Fair Work Act in a report that it has since failed to release.
MCA’s new chairwoman, Vanessa Guthrie, was quoted in The Australian today saying that the council had prepared an election report that supported her claims that there was too much red tape for business to go through in the current Fair Work Act and thus was a drag on the economy.
The yet to be released paper also calls for unions to be blocked from entering workplaces and causing ‘unnecessary disruption’.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) sees these comments as a direct affront to Australian workers.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:
“It is clear that the Minerals Council of Australia has big business and mining interests at the heart of its absurd claims about unions and the Fair Work Act.”
“The so called ‘cumbersome’ detail of Fair Work Act protects Australians rights at work. Rights like fair wages and protection from unfair dismissal are intrinsic to Australia.”
“The same goes for unions who attend workplaces to ensure workers are being treated fairly and are working in safe environments — this is especially crucial in the mining sector.”
“Spruiking a report and then not releasing it is either a rookie error from the Minerals Council or a deliberate attempt to reduce public scrutiny of their lobbying position.”
“This looks very similar to a piece of anti-worker rhetoric that the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry released several weeks ago and reeks of self-interest.”
“The MCA needs to release the paper so that Australian workers can see exactly which 19th Century style workplace relations laws they are asking the Turnbull government to adopt.”
Media contact: Antonia Acott 0418 793 885