Sweeping powers for trade unions in government’s local jobs package

Instead of supporting local jobs and business, the ACT government’s Secure Local Jobs Package, which is now open for consultation, proposes legislating sweeping new powers for trade unions, Shadow Minister for Local Business Andrew Wall said today.

“The package outlines the government’s intent to legislate its preferential treatment of trade unions in the procurement process. Effectively, this would enshrine in law the ACT government’s controversial Memorandum of Understanding with Unions ACT to give unions the power of veto over government procurement contracts,” Mr Wall said.

“A business that contracts to both the Commonwealth and ACT governments could have difficulty complying with existing federal laws because many aspects of the ACT government’s package are incompatible with existing federal procurement or employment legislation.

“In addition, the package also prescribes more red tape to the procurement process for businesses. This would either restrict many small-service businesses from tendering or add additional costs to those that do – costs that would eventually be absorbed by ratepayers.

“This package highlights that under ACT Labor, Unions ACT are running the policy agenda at the detriment of local business,” Mr Wall concluded.