The policies proposed by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus at the National Press Club today are part a radical union recruitment drive that would leave more Australians in the unemployment queues, according to free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
“The union movement will turn the clock back, and saddle Australians with an old-fashioned, inflexible and unproductive industrial relations system,” said Institute of Public Affairs Research Fellow, Gideon Rozner.
“The ACTU has found a new straw man to go after – the sharing economy – with wild claims of ‘job insecurity’ and ‘exploitation’. But the fact of the matter is that platforms like Uber, Airtasker and Deliveroo aren’t just good for consumers. They allow more Australians than ever before to enjoy the dignity of work.
“Last year Uber revealed that almost a third of its workforce in Brisbane alone were unemployed prior to signing up as drivers. If the ACTU got their way and imposed more red tape on the sharing economy, many of these people would lose their jobs.
“The ACTU’s plan to force employers to convert casual jobs to permanent part-time is ludicrous and unworkable. Many Australians take casual roles that are mutually-beneficial to themselves and their employers. All the unions’ proposal would do is discourage employers from offering casual work to workers who would otherwise benefit from it.
“Australia has one of the world’s most inflexible, complex and extensive IR regimes. Slapping even more rules on would make it even harder for Australians to access paid employment.
“The union movement’s proposals would hurt the 700,000 Australians who are looking for work, the 1.2 million who are looking for more work, and the countless others who have simply given up on looking and left the workforce altogether.
“The fact of the matter is, Australia already has the second-highest real hourly minimum wage in the developed world, and among the lowest rates of wealth inequality.
“It is ironic that a union leader would be proposing so many burdensome new laws when just last year she claimed that, it is okay to break laws that are unjust. When the ACTU says ‘change the rules’, how do we know which of their proposed ‘rules’ should be obeyed and which shouldn’t?”
“The ACTU is right on one point, our workplace relations laws – which were largely written by the union movement under the Rudd Government – are broken. A rewrite of our workplace relations laws is desperately needed to enable the 700,000 unemployed Australians to experience the dignity of work,” said Mr Rozner.
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