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(Image: AAP/Bianca De Marchi)

It's an article of faith in the media, business and within the Coalition that Australia's industrial relations system is too inflexible.

That's despite a lack of any evidence to that effect. After a major inquiry, the Productivity Commission reported in 2015 that "contrary to perceptions, Australia’s labour market performance and flexibility is relatively good by global standards".

Industrial disputation, already at an equal-all-time-record low of just 1.1 days lost per thousand employees, fell to just 0.3 in the March quarter this year. A decade ago it was 10 times that; 20 years ago it was 64 times that. Workers don't strike any more. In many sectors, they can't strike any more even if they wanted to.