Closure threat over union agreement OK: Fair Work

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 23-Aug-19

The Electrical Trades Union has indicated that it may launch coercion proceedings in the Federal Court regarding an enterprise agreement at New South Wales-based DDP Electrical Services, which excluded the ETU. The Fair Work Commission approved the agreement despite a letter from DDP to its staff which claimed that it would be out of business within six months if the ETU was successful in negotiating a new agreement. The FWC found that the warning was not a breach of ‘good faith bargaining’, as workers were still given a choice between a union and non-union agreement.

CORPORATES
DDP ELECTRICAL SERVICES, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Discrimination rise feeds gender pay gap

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 22-Aug-19

Research by KPMG has concluded that discrimination against women accounts for 39 per cent of the gender pay gap. The research also found that although women are just as likely as their male colleagues to ask for a pay rise, women are much less likely to actually receive an increase. Workplace Gender Equality Agency director Libby Lyons says addressing the gender pay gap requires action on the issue of "ingrained" gender stereotypes.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. WORKPLACE GENDER EQUALITY AGENCY, GLASSDOOR INCORPORATED

Dramatic fall in enterprise agreement delays

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 21-Aug-19

Data from the Fair Work Commission shows that it took an average of 35 days to approve enterprise bargaining agreements in the last six months, and an average of just 30 days in the 2018-19 financial year. The FWC has previously attracted criticism from the Australian Mines & Metals Association, which claimed that the average time it takes to approve an EBA had blown out to 76 days. AMMA CEO Steve Knott says delays in approving EBAs are being exacerbated by the way the FWC applies the ‘better-off-overall test’.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS

Unfair dismissal: retreat over pay

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 7-Aug-19

Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code is "ambiguous and open to interpretation". She adds that small businesses would be in a better position to comply with the code if ambiguous language were removed. Carnell has also argued the case for the Fair Work Commission to establish a small business division, although she now favours reviewing the maximum compensation for unfair dismissal after a revised code has been operating for at least 12 months.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS

Union’s EBA push for indigenous voice

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 3 : 5-Aug-19

Menzies Research Centre director Nick Cater has criticised the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s proposed enterprise bargaining agreement with subcontractor Gabba Waterproofing. It includes a First Nations People clause, which amongst other things requires the subcontractor to hold ‘welcome to country’ ceremonies when the number of workers on the North Queensland Stadium project reaches 20. Cater says the CFMMEU’s demands are all about union turf wars rather than Aboriginal land rights. The EBA was lodged with the Fair Work Commission in July.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, GABBA WATERPROOFING PTY LTD, THE MENZIES RESEARCH CENTRE LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

New wage deals push 3pc pay rises

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 2-Aug-19

Data from the Attorney-General’s Department shows that public sector enterprise agreements that were approved in the March quarter included wage increases of 2.4 per cent, while wages growth under private sector agreements was 2.7 per cent. However, the data excludes 29 per cent of new agreements because they featured ‘non-quantifiable’ wage increases. They included enterprise agreements for Woolworths and David Jones employees, which link pay rises to increases in the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, DAVID JONES LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, BUPA AGED CARE, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED. CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK

Setka power play: brutal and radical

Original article by David Penberthy
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 2-Aug-19

The Victorian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union has been accused of ‘infiltrating’ the militant union’s South Australian branch, with a view to taking it over. Aaron Cartledge was the CFMMU’s SA secretary until 2018, when he was forced out of the role he had held for six years. He notes that prosecutions against the state branch for breaching workplace laws have increased significantly since Victorian officials began exerting their influence. Victorian state secretary John Setka has not responded to Cartledge’s allegations.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE, MASTER BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

Union push to increase casual pay in hospitality sector

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 29-Jul-19

United Voice wants the Fair Work Commission to rule that casual employees in the hospitality industry are entitled to a 25 per cent loading in addition to overtime penalty rates. NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright argues that employers cannot afford such a cost increase. He adds that while the Chamber agrees that casuals should be paid overtime at the same rate as permanent employees. However, it is of the view that as casual loading is meant to compensate for lack of employee entitlements such as annual leave, it should not apply during overtime as permanent employees do not accrue such entitlements while doing overtime work.

CORPORATES
UNITED VOICE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NSW BUSINESS CHAMBER LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

MJ Bale compensates underpaid staff, echoes call for award revamp

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 26-Jul-19

Menswear retailer MJ Bale has become the latest prominent retailer to have been found to be underpaying its staff under the general retail industry award or under enterprise agreements. Company founder and CEO Matt Jensen says the underpayments were inadvertent and highlight the need for the retail award to be simplified, with his comments being echoed by Australian Retailers Association CEO Russell Zimmerman. MJ Bale has compensated the affected staff.

CORPORATES
MJ BALE, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL

Lambie piles pressure on Setka to quit CFMEU

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Jul-19

The federal government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill is slated to be put before the Senate later in 2019. Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has indicated that she may be prepared to vote for the bill if John Setka does not step down as the Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union. Lambie has raised her concerns about Setka with ACTU president Michele O’Neil. The government has amended the bill in response to concerns raised by Labor, but Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick believes that further changes are needed.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, ONE NATION PARTY