The Employers Consultative Association (ECA) is calling for legislation to be expanded or introduced to provide for lay-offs.
Commenting following the closure of the ArcelorMittal steel plant at Point Lisas, which has put 644 workers on the breadline, the ECA said the requirement of a company to treat with a recognised majority union for collective bargaining is stipulated by the Industrial Relations Act (IRA) section 40.
Where a recognised majority union or an employer fails to comply with this section, that party is guilty of an industrial relations offence and liable to a fine of $4,000
The ECA said according to a ruling of the Industrial Court, it is necessary for companies to ensure they pay particular attention to process when about to embark on a set of actions that can drastically affect the lives of its employees.
“Failure to do so will result in the court, which stands as a guardian for the conduct of proper industrial relations, acting in accordance with the IRA,” the group said.