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Report recommends individual contracts, says ACTU

AAP, in Sydney Morning Herald,
Tuesday 10 October 2000, 5:15 PM

Former heads of mining giant Rio Tinto were behind a Business Council of Australia (BCA) report which advocated individual contracts, the ACTU said today.

The report 'Managerial Leadership in the Workplace' was prepared for the BCA by a company known as World Competitive Practices (WCP) Ltd, which employed former Rio Tinto heavyweights, the ACTU said.

'These people have been nurtured by Rio Tinto, a company notorious for its anti-union behaviour and zealous pursuit of individual contracts,' ACTU secretary Greg Combet said in a statement.

'This highlights the hand-in-glove relationship between (Workplace Relations) Minister (Peter) Reith and some hardline ideologues in the business community.'

According to Mr Combet, the report contends that in order to be competitive companies must abandon collective bargaining with unions in favour of individual contracts with their employees.

He says former Rio Tinto chairman Rod Carnegie and former Rio Tinto executives Dr Matthew Butlin, Michael Angwin and Stuart Graham were key members of WCP Ltd who produced the report.

'I am disappointed that the BCA has compromised the standing of its research by publishing material that could have had only one conclusion - to get rid of unions and collective bargaining,' Mr Combet said.

Comment was being sought from the BCA.