The Labor Party continues to oppose the changes to competition regulations that would enhance competition. They still let the SDA (the retail union who is closely aligned with Wesfarmers) write competition policy. Below is an extract from a book from previous Labor leader Mark Latham that shows the influence of the SDA.
“Monday, 3 November (2003) My submission to Shadow Ministry this morning on competition policy – to beef up the Trade Practices Act – met with surprising resistance from Tanner. How’s this from the intellectual spearhead of the Labor left? He says we shouldn’t touch the supermarket duopoly between Coles and Woolworths because they have an agreement with the SDA, the Shoppies. This is the bloke who made his name in the 1980s by winning control of the Clerk’s Union of Victoria from the Groupers. Now he’s defending their sweetheart deal with the bosses.
(Extract from note on bottom of page 241) the shoppies The SDA had an agreement with Coles and Woolworths to maintain unionised workplaces. Inside the ALP the Shoppies have lobbied to protect the market share of Coles and Woolworths against competition from independent grocers and retailers”
We at COSBOA rest our case on too much influence from the very big and powerful. This must change.