The Democrats have confirmed that the Government's pattern bargaining Bill as it stands is unlikely to get their support in the Senate committee report being handed down today, with IR spokesperson Senator Andrew Murray yesterday issuing a media release expressing concern with the legislation's wide implications.
The unionised half of BHP's Pilbara iron ore workforce will go out for 24 hours on Wednesday June 7 after the company rejected a collective agreement proposal from unions that largely mirrors the terms of the company's staff contracts.
Just when super-unions have gone out of fashion, the two big transport organisations, the Transport Workers Union and the Rail Tram and Bus Union, have revealed plans to merge into what would be one of Australia's most powerful and strategically-placed unions.
AMWU national organiser Neil Marshall is one of eight people missing, presumed dead, after the plane they were aboard disappeared in the Upper Spencer Gulf near Whyalla in South Australia on Wednesday night.
Union efforts to convince the Democrats that the Government's pattern bargaining bill will unfairly tip the bargaining balance in employers' favour appear to have paid off, with the party signalling yesterday that it had stepped back from its earlier position of being more inclined to amend than reject the legislation.
NSW unions have had a major win on contracting out, with the Roads and Transport Minister ensuring award conditions won't be undercut by insisting that all tenderers for outsourced work in his portfolio will have to negotiate awards or agreements with unions.