Watchdog to get tough over worker rip-offs

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 3-Jun-19

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says the agency will make greater use of enforcement tools as part of its crackdown on employers that underpay their staff. Parker adds that businesses which self-report non-compliance to the FWO should also expected to face penalties, noting that there has been an increase in self-reporting in recent times. Meanwhile, Parker has identified sectors such as fast-food restaurants, cafes, horticulture and franchising as priorities for the FWO in 2019-20.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN

Minimum wage will rise 3 per cent to $740.80 a week on Fair Work ruling

Original article by Stephanie Chalmers
abc.net au – Page: Online : 31-May-19

The ACTU has described the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage by three per cent as a "win" for low-paid workers. The minimum wage will be increased to $19.49 an hour, or $740.80 per week, but the peak union body says it is still not a living wage. The ACTU had sought a six per cent increase in the minimum wage, after it rose by 3.5 per cent in 2018. The latest Wage Price Index data shows that annual growth in wages is currently about 2.3 per cent.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

TWU set to bring chaos to airports

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 21-May-19

The Transport Workers’ Union will begin serving claims for improved wages and conditions on Australia’s major airports in the week beginning 21 May. It will then start to lodge claims with major road transport companies. TWU national secretary Michael Kaine says it has spent the last five years aligning 200 enterprise agreements covering 38,000 workers to expire in 2020, so as to maximise the impact of its bargaining efforts, including the right to legally strike.

CORPORATES
TRANSPORT WORKERS’ UNION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

FWC queries unions’ living wage

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 16-May-19

The Fair Work Commission heard the final day of evidence in its review of the minimum wage on 15 May. The ACTU wants the minimum wage to be increased to 60 per cent of median earnings over two years, in order to lift all workers out of poverty. FWC President Iain Ross warned that doing so could result in pay increases for all workers on the minimum wage, rather than just those living below the poverty line. He also said the tax and transfer system could be a more efficient way to address the issue of poverty than an increase in the minimum wage. The FWC’s decision on the minimum wage is expected to be announced by the end of May.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Employers fear payroll nightmare

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 15-May-19

The Fair Work Commission is expected to make a ruling on the minimum wage before the end of May. However, employers’ groups have warned of the potential payroll complications if Labor wins the federal election and pushes ahead with plans to make a new wage submission immediately upon taking office. Any increase in the minimum wage will take effect from 1 July, and Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has expressed concern that employers will not have enough time to apply the new pay rates if Labor seeks to make a new submission to the FWC.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, ACTU

Wage theft: Labor takes on employers

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-May-19

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will use a speech in Perth on 15 May to announce that Labor will establish a small claims tribunal for people with unpaid wages if it wins the federal election. The tribunal, which will hear claims of up to $100,000, will be able to make and enforce orders to pay wages and to mediate claims. The tribunal will operate alongside the existing Fair Work Commission. Shorten will also use the speech to criticise the Coalition’s preferences deal with Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, UNITED AUSTRALIA PARTY, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

ACTU leader to channel Hawke in Fair Work wage pitch

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 14-May-19

Michele O’Neil will become the first ACTU president since Bob Hawke to personally present the union movement’s case for a rise in the minimum wage. O’Neill will appear before the Fair Work Commission’s wage review panel on 15 May; the ACTU is seeking a six per cent increase in the minimum wage, followed by a 5.5 per cent rise in 2020. Meanwhile, Labor has advised the FWC that it will withdraw its current submission to the wage review if it wins the federal election, and will make a new one that will call for a "real wage increase to award rates".

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

ABCC targets building union leadership

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 10-May-19

The Australian Building & Construction Commission will allege that the construction industry union breached workplace laws in trying to force Botany Cranes to sign an enterprise agreement. The ABCC has launched legal action against four Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union officials, including New South Wales secretary Darren Greenfield. Amongst other things, they are alleged to have threatened to damage the company’s equipment and stage a secondary boycott if it did not sign the agreement.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, BOTANY CRANES, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, BOOM LOGISTICS LIMITED – ASX BOL, WGG CRANE GROUP

Kelty in accord with $10bn childcare vow

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 9-May-19

Labor’s proposal to provide child care workers with a taxpayer-funded wage increase is supported by former ACTU secretary Bill Kelty. He argues that child care workers are "grossly underpaid", and the cost of the policy will not have a significant impact on wages across the economy. Kelty has also downplayed concerns that the policy would prompt employees in other sectors to seek a similar wage subsidy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Labor weighs boosting union powers

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 7-May-19

Shadow workplace relations minister Brendan O’Connor has indicated that unions’ right to entry laws could be relaxed if Labor wins the federal election. The reforms could include recommendations made in the Boland review of workplace safety laws; amongst other things, the review proposed waiving the need for a union official to have a workplace entry permit if the visit is related to industrial safety. This would benefit the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union; some of its officials have been denied entry permits under the Fair Work Act’s ‘fit and proper person’ test.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA