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If you have been following federal policy closely, you will know that the Albanian government introduced its most important labor relations law in parliament last week.

Labor wants to give workers, especially in traditionally lower-paid sectors such as childcare, the opportunity to negotiate with multiple employers.

But business groups fear it could lead to strikes across the industry.

That debate will continue this week. Here’s what Andrew McKellar, the chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told ABC TV this morning:

I think the government is really working on this. We believe that there should be an open and transparent investigation in the Senate. We have gone through the details of the bill. As we look at it more and more, we see very important issues, very important issues that are particularly worrying for small and medium-sized businesses in terms of how some of these provisions will work, which I think are of great concern to us.

if [the provisions for multi-employer bargaining are a] one size fits all, we don’t know how this will work. Is it applied on a geographical level? Does it concern comparable companies? Is it in a local mall? Are we going to see the hardware store bring in the hairdresser and the cafe owner?

If you have that outcome, you will not get sustainable wage increases. It will only lead to higher inflation. As we see today, the Reserve Bank is addressing that with higher interest rates. No one will win in this scenario.

Yesterday, independent ACT senator David Pocock suggested that Labor should split the labor relations law into several pieces of legislation so that the upper house can pass the less controversial elements (such as making it illegal to advertise jobs below the minimum wage) and then give them more time. has to consider things like multi-employer negotiations.

Tony Burke, Labor Relations Secretary, has stood firm, arguing that politicians should do everything they can “to get wages moving”.

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