Move to ban strikes in energy sector

THE Howard Government is considering a plan to remove the right to strike from workers in the power, oil and gas sectors, according to a report in The Australian newspaper this morning.

A new business-backed taskforce, advised by law firm Clayton Utz, has advised workplace relations minister Kevin Andrews to move to effectively ban strikes in essential service industries.

Workers would be forbidden from taking protected industrial action and would be required to mediate with their employers to settle new wage and conditions agreements, The Australian reports.

Andrews is also considering exempting highly paid workers in essential service industries - such as offshore oil and gas personnel - from federal awards.

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