Industrial Relations Commission Slammed Over Nurses Union Deregistration Threat

"Affront to the workers"

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Australia’s peak medical organisation has criticised the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) for its threat to deregister the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF).

It comes after WA nurses and midwives took state-wide strike action last Friday over pay and working conditions as arguments continued between workers and the State Government.

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In a letter to the ANF from the IRC, the commission warned it may summon the union to "show cause why its registration should not be suspended".

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) WA President Mark Duncan-Smith described the threat as “Thatcher-like” to the ABC.

"This is the sort of thing that I suspect happened with Margaret Thatcher with the coal mines," Mr Duncan-Smith said.

"This is where you ultimately get a right-wing approach to industrial relations policy and then you get suppression of the freedom of speech.

"I think this is an affront to the workers of Western Australia, I think that if the government isn't behind this they should step in and stop it from happening."

A spokesperson for Industrial Relations Minister Bil Johnston told the ABC the government did not have any part in the notice issued by the IRC.

"We have made no application to the Industrial Relations Commission, nor asked the commission to take these steps,” he said.

“It is a matter between the commission and the ANF. We respect the independent umpire.”


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30 November 2022

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