Top to bottom of the biggest australian gold mine - super pit in Kalgoorlie, Western AUstralia, on a sunny summer day.

The Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association (AREEA) has alleged that the Federal Government’s proposed Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill 2022 will adversely affect mining employers in its submission to the Senate Inquiry into the bill.

AREEA alleges that the Federal Government was “intentionally misleading” in recent comments suggesting that the mining and resources industry will be minimally impacted by the bill, which strengthens employee protections and union bargaining power.

In its submission to the Senate Education and Employment Committee, AREEA claimed that certain provisions in the bill would give union bodies the ability to initiate bargaining for the replacement of expired enterprise agreements, without overwhelming support from members.

“This would adversely impact many resource and energy workplaces, including their service providers, where enterprise agreements have expired and there has been no interest in replacing it given the above market pay rates and strong employee engagement in the sector,” AREEA Chief Executive, Steve Knott said.

The association also dismissed the Government’s claim that resources industries would be largely unaffected by the new rules, because the majority of workplaces are already covered by enterprise agreements.

According to a recent Productivity Commission report, at least 40 per cent of non-managerial mining workers are covered by a current enterprise agreement.

“Providing union organisers with a big new campaigning tool to target non-unionised workplaces will not help Australia’s economy or support increased wages. Had this policy been raised by the ALP prior to the Federal Election it would have been outright rejected by the Australian community,” Mr Knott said.

AREAA’s submission to the Senate Education and Employment Committee is available in full, here.

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