CHAMBER of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has today raised serious concerns regarding the latest industrial dispute figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The statistics released yesterday showed that the working days lost due to industrial disputes in Queensland increased by more than 240 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010.
The 75,300 working days lost in 2011 represents a $3.9 billion cost to the Queensland economy.
Furthermore, in the December Quarter 2011, Queensland accounted for 41 per cent of the working days lost in Australia due to industrial disputes.
To place in context this number Queensland only accounts for 20 per cent of Australia's workforce.
CCIQ President David Goodwin said, "These figures demonstrate a disturbing trend that must be mitigated as a matter of urgency."
"Queensland businesses are concerned that access to industrial action by employees has become too easy, and is often taken as a first step rather than the last in negotiations.
"This is despite the significant cost of that industrial action being borne by Industry, customers and the community.
"It is essential that changes are made to ensure issues relating to matter outside of the employment relationship are excluded from negotiations.
"Employers require the prerogative to make the management decisions necessary to run successful and sustainable businesses without the interference of third parties.
"CCIQ will continue to advocate on the behalf of Queensland businesses for drastic improvements to be made to the Fair Work Act," Mr Goodwin concluded.