Business groups break with Westacott, McManus

The trade-off was a softening of the wording around the “better off overall test”, known as the BOOT, that the Fair Work Commission interprets to mean no single worker can be worse off in negotiations over new enterprise agreements.

But the other employer representatives insisted any such commitment on the BOOT would have very limited practical effect while a preferential deal for union agreements would unfairly disadvantage non-union agreements and is wrong in principle and counter to existing law.

“It puts pressure on employers to encourage employees to become union members in order to access a fast track enterprise agreement,” says one employer representative. “With unions only 10 per cent of the private sector workforce, it’s nuts.”

Ms Wawn was so infuriated by the proposed deal she temporarily left the joint meeting “in disgust”. Two CEOs did not attend themselves but later endorsed their representatives’ response.

The ferocious reaction in

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