The ACTU welcomes the appointment of five new commissioners to the Fair Work Commission, a first step in rebalancing the Commission.

For over 100 years the Fair Work Commission and its predecessors have reflected a mix of members from employer and worker backgrounds.

These appointments are a move to rebalance the Fair Work Commission to include more members whose background is in representing workers. This is crucial for an institution that makes key decisions about minimum wages and working conditions.

During its nine years in government, the Coalition stacked the Commission with employer representatives: of the 27 permanent appointments made during its time in office, 26 came from an employer background. The Morrison government alone did not appoint a single worker representative.

As a result of the Coalition appointments, there were 38 members: 29 came from an employer representative background and just nine from a worker representative background.

With today’s appointments, which expand the Commission, there will be 14 members from a worker representative background and 43 from an employer representative background.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“The union movement welcomes the Albanese government acting on its election promise to restore balance on the Fair Work Commission, but there is much more to be done to even get close.

“It is critical that important bodies such as the Fair Work Commission, which has a big impact on the lives of working people, are just and balanced. It is disgraceful that the Coalition government stacked it with employer ideologues.

“Working people in Australia need their confidence restored in the institution that oversees workers’ rights. Our industrial tribunals must draw from a balance of those from employer and employee backgrounds and the legal profession.