Collective bargaining win a big step for gig workers

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 28-Oct-20

University of Sydney labour law professor Shae McCrystal has welcomed a decision to grant a class exemption for small businesses and franchisees to collectively negotiate with suppliers and customers. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s ruling will allow independent contractors and gig economy workers to engage in collective bargaining. However, the Transport Workers’ Union contends that the ruling will not protect gig economy workers from being sacked by companies such as Uber.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, TRANSPORT WORKERS’ UNION, UBER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Unions to face wait for pay reforms

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 3-May-19

Shadow workplace relations minister Brendan O’Connor has indicated that Labor will consult all stakeholders regarding its plan to reinstate industry-wide enterprise bargaining. Senior Labor sources have suggested that the extensive consultation that will be required means the reforms are likely to be delayed for at least a year if Labor wins the federal election. Law professor Andrew Stewart says Labor is wise to delay such reforms given the large number of items on its policy agenda. Labor intends to prioritise reforms such as restoring penalty rates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

South32 warns of strike risk if ALP wins poll

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 18-Feb-19

South32 CEO Graham Kerr is concerned that Labor’s workplace reform agenda could lead to increased industrial action, particularly in the resources sector. He says the outcome of the upcoming federal election could affect business confidence for at least 12 months. Kerr notes that stability of supply is a major priority for buyers of Australia’s metallurgical coal buyers. He adds that if supply is disrupted they will source coal elsewhere, and it is very hard to regain a customer’s trust once it has been lost. Employers’ groups are also concerned about any move to reinstate industry-wide bargaining.

CORPORATES
SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, TAHMOOR COAL PTY LTD, CENTENNIAL COAL COMPANY LIMITED, WOLLONGONG COAL LIMITED – ASX WLC, PEABODY ENERGY AUSTRALIA COAL PTY LTD, PORT KEMBLA COAL TERMINAL LIMITED

Labor’s wage bargaining plans a risk to exports

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 20-Dec-18

Tom Reid of the Australian Mines & Metals Association has warned that a shift to industry-wide enterprise bargaining could undermine the competitiveness and sustainability of the nation’s resources sector. Labor proposes to restrict industry-wide bargaining to sectors that have low wages, although unions advocate extending it to other sectors of the economy. Meanwhile, Australian Retailers Association CEO Russell Zimmerman says industry-wide bargaining may be a viable alternative to the costly enterprise bargaining process for small retailers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, ACTU, ESSO AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Labor’s boost to union power alarms business

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 19-Dec-18

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has told Labor’s national conference that the enterprise bargaining system is not working. The national conference has endorsed a new industrial relations policy platform which includes the reinstatement of industry-wide enterprise bargaining. Shorten has also committed to reversing penalty rate cuts and abolishing the Australian Building & Construction Commission and the Registered Organisations Commission if Labor wins the 2019 election. Employer groups have urged Labor to clarify whether pattern bargaining will be restricted to low-paid workers or if it will apply across the economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES

Labor looks at sector-wide right to strike

Original article by Phillip Coorey, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 13-Dec-18

Labor’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor has advised that industry-wide enterprise bargaining for low-paid workers will be part of its election platform. He has also told the National Press Club that Labor will consider reforms that would permit workers to engage in sector-wide industrial action during enterprise bargaining negotiations. O’Connor argues that evidence from other OECD countries that allow pattern bargaining suggests that there would a low risk of sector-wide industrial action. Key employer groups oppose the reintroduction of pattern bargaining.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU, THE MENZIES RESEARCH CENTRE LIMITED, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Unions test Labor with airline fight

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Dec-18

Labor will seek support for industry-wide enterprise bargaining for low-paid workers at its upcoming national conference. However, the Transport Workers’ Union will push for the policy on industry-wide bargaining to be broadened to include the aviation sector. Leaders of rival unions do not believe that there is much support within Labor’s senior ranks for such a move, while Qantas CEO Alan Joyce recently warned of the impact that doing so would have on both the airline’s supply chain and the broader economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, TRANSPORT WORKERS’ UNION, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)

Labor trade-off over pattern bargaining

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 11-Dec-18

Industrial relations is likely to be a key issue on the agenda at Labor’s upcoming national conference. Labor sources have indicated that the party is set to reinstate pattern bargaining as part of its industrial relations platform. However, Labor is expected to restrict pattern bargaining to workers in sectors that have low wages, such as childcare and cleaning. The ACTU is leading a union push for pattern bargaining to be allowed across all industries. Labor’s policies on free trade and asylum seekers are also expected to attract debate at the national conference.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)

ALP open to industry-wide enterprise bargaining

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 5 : 26-Nov-18

The ACTU wants a future federal Labor government to amend workplace laws so that workers can take strike action across entire industries. Currently, protected industrial action is only allowed during enterprise bargaining negotiations with a single employer. Labor’s industrial relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor claims that enterprise bargaining is not delivering decent outcomes for workers, suggesting that he is amenable to union calls for industry-wide bargaining. However, industry groups claim that such a move would spell "disaster" for the Australian economy.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE

Greens seek to wedge Labor on IR

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 15-Nov-18

Labor has indicated that it would prioritise low-paid workers in any push for industry-wide enterprise bargaining. However, the Greens argue that industry-wide enterprise bargaining should be available to all workers regardless of income or the sector in which they work. The Coalition and business leaders have expressed concern that the ACTU’s proposal for industry-wide enterprise bargaining would see industrial action escalate to the levels of the 1970s.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, HEALTH SERVICES UNION OF AUSTRALIA