TONY ABBOTT has put himself on a collision course with workplace relations hardliners by vowing to never return to individual workplace contracts, a demand being made by business groups and industrial relations reformers in the Liberal Party.
”We don’t support statutory individual contracts,” Mr Abbott told the ABC’s 7.30 last night.
”We did once but we don’t now.”
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Mr Abbott has been under pressure to commit the Coalition to reintroducing individual agreements underpinned by a no-disadvantage test.
The agreements became politically poisonous when WorkChoices stripped away the safety net and it has long been speculated that Mr Abbott would bring back a version of the pre-WorkChoices agreements.
Former Howard government minister Peter Reith had earlier said the Coalition needed to start seeking a public mandate for industrial relations changes.
Mr Abbott has promised to increase flexibility but said the focus will be on practical problems, ”not the philosophy of workplace relations”.