The head of one of Australia's largest blue-collar unions has called for mandatory appointments of worker representatives on company boards to boost workplace harmony.
Attorney-General Christian Porter released a third industrial relations discussion paper earlier in the week as part of the coalition's review of workplace laws.
The latest paper looks at ways to create harmonious work environments including performance bonuses, employee share schemes and worker input into decision-making.
Mr Porter wants to reduce industrial conflict, grow wages and boost productivity.
Australian Workers' Union national secretary Daniel Walton believes putting union leaders on company boards would achieve Mr Porter's goals.
"If our aim is co-operative workplaces, there's one simple reform available: mandate employee-elected directors on company boards," he wrote in the Australian Financial Review on Thursday.
"It's concrete, it's feasible, and it's been tried and tested overseas."
Mr Walton said the antidote to companies "culture crisis" after wage theft and banking misconduct scandals is putting worker representatives on boards.
"The truth is, in too many Australian boardrooms there's a 1980s ethos that, like power ties, has truly outlived its welcome," Mr Walton said.
"For a start, achieving diversity at a board level is now unanimously recognised as best practice. Employees would provide a deeper and broader director gene pool."
The AWU boss said recent underpayment issues at Woolworths and 7-Eleven would have been detected by a "blindfolded" union board member.
"It would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in the end, not to mention averting the share price and reputational damage," Mr Walton said.
He said The Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Singapore, Japan, Germany, Canada were top performers in the World Economic Forum's competitiveness rankings and also led the way in labour-employer co-operation.
But Australia ranks 66th, along with Uganda, Cambodia and the Dominican Republic.