ACCC calls for views on collective bargaining

accc logo collective bargaining exemption

 

The ACCC is seeking feedback from growers and industry professionals on their proposal to develop a class exemption that would provide legal protection for businesses to collectively bargain with customers or suppliers without having to apply to the ACCC. This feedback must be submitted by 3 July 2019 at which point the ACCC will make a final decision.

Examples could include a group of growers wanting to bargain with a processor to whom they supply their produce, or with an energy company from which they purchase gas. Without some form of exemption, this kind of joint bargaining would be at risk of breaching competition laws.

The ACCC has made a preliminary decision on the form the class exemption: they are proposing that the class exemption would allow businesses with less than $10 million aggregated annual turnover to collectively bargain with customers or suppliers.

They’re asking for growers to weigh on this result.

Specifically, the ACCC is seeking feedback on:

  • the eligibility criteria, including whether a $10 million aggregated annual turnover threshold, and other features of the class exemption, are appropriate
  • the one-page notice that groups must fill out and provide to the ACCC and the target, in order to be eligible
  • the plain English guidance note for using the class exemption
  • the draft legislative instrument, which is the technical, legal document that will create the class exemption.

For updates and more information, go to the ACCC website here: Collective bargaining class exemption.

Submit your feedback by 3 July 2019 by emailing adjudication@accc.gov.au with the subject: ‘Collective bargaining class exemption – submission’.

Also, if you have any objections to your submission being published on the ACCC website, state so in the email. The ACCC will come to a final decision after the deadline, so this is a chance to make the apple and pear industry’s voice heard.

 

About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and not-for-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.