Multi-employer bargaining pays off for workers and companies

The multi-employer bargaining provisions of the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill have been widely criticized by employer groups. However, even these groups agree that the current company bargaining system is flawed, but they have not offered an alternative to multi-employer bargaining.

Associate Professor Chris F Wright, who researches and teaches Australian and international industrial relations at the University of Sydney Business School, argues in FRANCE that the Fair Work Act placed company-level collective bargaining at the heart of the workplace relations system, but current laws make it too easy for companies to opt out of company-level bargaining when it has become too difficult for workers to negotiate new agreements.

Wright notes that the rest of the world is moving towards multi-employer bargaining because it benefits companies as well as workers. And that Australia should seize this unique opportunity to do so as well: