New port in an IR storm

Without the possibility of pay rises ahead, unions have focused on weekend penalty rates. Moreover, as the Asciano dispute reveals, the successful Qantas lockout has unleashed a new employer militancy.

There’s a common theme among many of the industrial disputes of today: it’s not about the money; it’s about managing the business. Specifically the new industrial relations battleground is around weekend penalties.

And there’s a swing back to big companies using lockouts and arbitration. They are keener now than they have ever been to force Fair Work Australia to terminate disputes and make binding rulings by taking militant action themselves.

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