Yesterday the Australian Senate delivered a most welcome surprise, defeating the proposed Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2019. The result is an important statement by our Senate – echoing the voices of Australian workers – that the principles of fairness and balance are, and will remain central to the Australian industrial relations system.
Formed in response to the 2006 Work Choices Amendments, the AIER adopts the principles and tripartite approach of the International Labour Organisation, standing as a champion for reasoned industrial relations policy and practice. Fundamental to this position and the work of the AIER is the right to freedom of association; the freedom of workers to participate in workplace, economic and social policy through collective engagement. Freedom of association is the foundation of effective tripartism, and those principles espoused within the Australian Charter of Employment Rights. Meaningful tripartite engagement requires the genuine respect of all parties, by all parties to industrial relations.
The AIER has campaigned long and hard on this issue as an independent voice of reason. It is an unacceptable position for any Australian Government to legislate – in violation of Australia’s obligations under international human rights law – to restrict the fundamental principle of free association.
It was really something special to see this campaign to protect the rights of Australian workers, most effectively buoyed the voices and actions of those workers themselves; demonstrating clearly, decisively and loudly that the union movement is not an interloper in workplace relations but the workers united.
AIER Submission to the Senate Inquiry
AIER Evidence to the Senate Public Hearing
AIER News – Ensuring Integrity Bill: 7 Good Reasons to Say No
AIER News – The Ensuring Integrity Bill and the chimera of ‘regulating unions just like companies’
AIER News – Regulation: one size does not fit all
AIER News – Ensuring Integrity Bill Violates the Rule of Law and Freedom of Association