Anthony Albanese has pledged to tackle workplace law reform which has support from unions and "good employers".
The Labor leader said changes to the Fair Work Act to insert secure and permanent jobs as a key objective would be one of his top-line priorities if he wins the next federal election.
Cracking down on "cowboy" labour hire firms, criminalising wage theft and introducing 10 days' paid domestic violence leave are also key planks of his industrial relations agenda.
In an interview with AAP, Mr Albanese said changes to workplace laws remained possible despite reform stalling in recent years.
"The changes that need to be made are ones that would be welcomed by unions and good employers. Good employers benefit through secure work," he said.
The Morrison government's attempts to pass major changes to the industrial relations system were thwarted in the Senate earlier this year.
The coalition gutted its own omnibus bill, scrapping plans to criminalise wage theft, reform enterprise bargaining, award simplification and extended long-term pay agreements.
The laws were drafted after major consultations between unions and employer groups.
But consensus evaporated after some business groups turned on each other, while unions claimed the bill did not reflect what was discussed.
Mr Albanese said dodgy labour hire companies were causing some mining workers to earn $50,000 less than permanent workers in the same job.
"You end up with a race to the bottom," he said.
The opposition leader nominated it as a factor in holding back wage growth.
"The last budget said over the next four years real wages will decline. In Australia we need to do better than that. This is an area that does need to be reformed," he said.
The gig economy is also in Labor's sights if Mr Albanese can defeat Scott Morrison at the next federal poll, due by May.
Labor wants to ensure food delivery drivers and app-based work acoss the National Disability Insurance Scheme and blue-collar jobs receive the minimum wage.
Mr Albanese said Menulog's agreement with the Transport Workers' Union to recognise drivers and riders as employees was an example of an improvement.
He said not addressing permanent work and casualisation meant wages weren't keeping pace with the cost of living.
Asked whether consumers should be prepared to pay more to ensure minimum wages in agriculture and the gig economy, Mr Albanese pointed to public reaction to exploitation.
"If people knew that people were working really hard for a couple of dollars an hour, they would be and are horrified when those stories come out," he said.
Boosting apprentice numbers and establishing Jobs and Skills Australia to look at long-term labour needs are also Labor promises.
Australian Associated Press
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