Manufacturing union leaders say they will use new workplace laws, which came into effect July 1, to push for pay rises of up to 6% in the manufacturing industry.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Unions says it delayed finalising a number of agreements with employers, waiting for the Fair Work Act, which raises many restrictions that were part of the Howard Government’s Work Choices system.
The AMWU is calling for annual pay rises of 4% across 1300 agreements in the manufacturing sector, and 6% for better-performing companies. It says despite the difficulties being faced by some, other sectors of the industry are performing well.
But employers have denounced the union strategy, warning that the pay claims could cause ‘serious economic damage’.