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With so many employers, its a worker's market
letter published in The Australian, 20 February 2010

YOUR editorial rightly says that workers are best off when they can bargain for themselves, but it does not explain why this is so. ("Let’s take a real look at our IR system”, 19/2)

It is because employers need employees to run their businesses and, with more than 800,000 employers competing with each other, no monopoly power exists among employers to dictate terms and conditions.

Workers are readily able to change jobs and ABS data shows many do so voluntarily every year.

If workers are best off bargaining directly with employers, why do we need wages and conditions determined by an outside body that knows nothing about the economic basis on which businesses operate or what range of conditions employees are prepared to accept?

The predecessor of Fair Work Australia had a long history of determining awards that kept many out of work because employers could not afford to meet the required conditions.

FWA should be required to accept individually negotiated conditions unless it can be shown that some form of exploitation is occurring.

Des Moore
Director, Institute for Private Enterprise,
South Yarra Vic

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