Collective bargaining – A Competing Fairly Forum
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued its latest Competing Fairly Forum DVD, Collective bargaining, which examines recent amendments to the Trade Practices Act 1974 that allow for a new notification processes for small businesses looking to collectively negotiate with suppliers or customers.
"This Competing Fairly Forum was developed as part of the ACCC's continuing efforts to educate businesses about their rights and obligations under the Act," ACCC Commissioner, Mr John Martin, said.
The forum examines the collective bargaining notification process from the perspective of small business collectives and the big businesses that may be the 'target' of those collectives. It also outlines the ACCC's role in assessing applications seeking immunity from legal action to engage in collective bargaining. These topics are considered by a panel featuring ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, and representatives of big and small business.
"The Act has always allowed the ACCC to grant protection from legal action to parties who engage in collective bargaining arrangements when such arrangements have a public benefit that outweighs their anti-competitive detriment," Mr Martin said.
"Previously this protection has been provided in the form of an authorisation granted by the ACCC, however since January 2007 small businesses have the option of a new collective bargaining notification process."
Mr Martin also said that the forum demonstrates that collective bargaining does not necessarily only benefit the small businesses involved, but can offer opportunities to the bigger 'target' businesses.
The forum is moderated by the ABC's Ms Emma Alberici and the panel comprises ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel; Mr Bill Healey, Director National Affairs of the Australian Hotels Association; Mr John McQueen, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Dairy Farmers; Mr Steven Münchenberg, former Deputy Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia; and Mr David Purchase, Executive Director, Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce.
Screenings of Collective bargaining will be presented by the ACCC's regional Outreach team and can be arranged by contacting the ACCC small business helpline on 1300 302 021. The forum will also be available for viewing on the ACCC's website.