Yesterday there was an extraordinary headline in The Australian:
Coalition to police wage claims
What was the story?
Opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz said yesterday unions pursuing agreements allowing for annual pay rises of, for instance, 5 per cent should be required to show to the Fair Work Commission that they had “genuinely discussed” productivity with their employer before the deal is approved.
The proposal was flagged by the Coalition in its workplace policy released in May, but it is the first time Senator Abetz has said the productivity mechanism should apply to any proposed workplace agreement with wage rises above the inflation rate. He said his proposal, which would require changes to the Fair Work Act, was in response to unions “bragging” that they had secured productivity-free pay increases.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to post on it yesterday and today I see Andrew Bolt saying the idea has been abandoned.
We don’t need more government intervention in markets – we need less. The idea of having a government bureaucrat second guess private decisions is always and everywhere bad policy.
This is especially the case when we already have a perfectly good mechanism for dealing with those firms that give their employees productivity-free pay increases – it is called bankruptcy.