Labor MP pushes industry bargaining to fix IR system

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 10-Dec-19

Labor senator Tim Ayres says Australia’s long period of sustained economic growth has led to complacency with regard to industrial relations. He argues that factors such as low wages growth and the decline in enterprise bargaining means Labor needs to rethink its policy on IR. Ayres adds that Labor should consider the sector-wide bargaining model of Scandinavian countries. Former Labor leader Bill Shorten had flagged a shift to sector-wide bargaining, although employer groups warned that it would lead to the levels of industrial unrest of the 1970s.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, UNITED WORKERS UNION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Hanson blindside kills anti-thug law

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 29-Nov-19

The federal government will put its Ensuring Integrity Bill before the Senate again in 2020 after a vote was tied at 34 votes apiece on 28 November. The bill was defeated after One Nation joined with Labor and the Greens to vote against it, even though the government had agreed to the minor party’s proposed amendments. Independent senator Jacqui Lambie also voted against the bill. Labor leader Anthony Albanese has described the bill’s defea­t as a "win for workers", but Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says it is a "win for union thug­gery".

CORPORATES
ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ACTU, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED)

Porter rejects Lambie’s call to alter union bill

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 28-Nov-19

The federal government remains hopeful that One Nation will support its Ensuring Integrity Bill, with the minor party’s two votes being crucial to its passage through the Senate. Meanwhile, independent senator Jacqui Lambie has proposed a number of last-minute amendments to the bill in return for her support; they include a provision that unprotected industrial action cannot be used as grounds for disqualifying a union official. Attorney-General Christian Porter has ruled out supporting the amendments, arguing that they are unworkable.

CORPORATES
ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, CENTRE ALLIANCE, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

No way to Wiggle out of sacking

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 3 : 25-Nov-19

The Fair Work Commission has thrown out an unfair dismissal claim by a Toyota dealership employee who took personal leave under false pretences. Sean Mamo had requested leave to care for his son, but his employer became aware that Mamo had in fact used the paid day off to take his son out, after photos of them at a Wiggles concert were posted on social media. FWC deputy president Alan Colman said the fact that Mamo claimed a payment to which he was not entitled was sufficient grounds for his dismissal.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Hanson not sold on union bill

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Nov-19

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick has indicated that he will support the federal government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill. He says unions are "very useful organisations" that stand up for workers’ rights, but stresses that they are not above the law. The bill now only requires the support of One Nation or independent senator Jacqui Lambie. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson says her party will consider the government’s final amendments to the bill and consult with unions before deciding its stance.

CORPORATES
CENTRE ALLIANCE, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, ACTU

Online journos second-class no longer after win

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 22-Nov-19

The Fair Work Commission has ruled that journalists who work for online-only news publications are covered by the media industry award. The FWC found that minimum employment conditions of these journalists are ‘significantly inferior’ to those of their print peers. Daily Mail Australia has warned that extending the coverage of the Journalists Published Media Award to digital media workers will result in higher wage costs, and its existing operating model may need to be revised if it has to pay weekend penalty rates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA, GUARDIAN AUSTRALIA, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, RURAL PRESS LIMITED, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE

One Nation bill changes get nod

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 21-Nov-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter says the federal government is open to One Nation’s proposed amendments to the Ensuring Integrity Bill. One Nation wants to increase the threshold for banning union officials under Centre Alliance’s proposed demerits points system. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson argues that sanctions such as the deregistration of a union should not apply for minor breaches of workplace laws. One Nation’s two votes in the Senate would give the government sufficient numbers to pass the bill before parliament rises for the year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Unpaid wages bill at $1.4bn annually

Original article by Andrew White, Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 20-Nov-19

More than $500m worth of wage underpayments have been disclosed to date; however, modelling by accounting firm PwC suggests that in total, Australian workers may be underpaid by up to $1.35bn a year. The modelling, which is based on data from the Fair Work Ombudsman, shows that up to 13 per cent of all workers may be underpaid, with construction workers found to be most at risk of being underpaid. The federal government is considering the introduction of criminal penalties for wage theft, as well as an increase in civil penalties.

CORPORATES
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, 7-ELEVEN STORES PTY LTD, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL LIMITED – ASX MHJ, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

ABC budgets $23m for underpaid staff

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 3 : 19-Nov-19

The ABC has declined to comment on the likely cost of recompensing casual staff who were underpaid, but insiders claim that at least one employee will receive more than $60,000. The public broadcaster’s latest annual report indicated that it has allocated $22.98m for compensating casual workers who have been underpaid for up to six years, but a spokesman says the final figure is likely to be less than this.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE

IR class action costs ruling appealed

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 18-Nov-19

UK-based litigation funder Augusta Ventures will appeal a court ruling that it must pay security of costs up-front in a wage theft class action. The case centres on allegations that BHP and labour hire firms underpaid casual workers at the Mount Arthur coal mine. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox warns that there is the potential for workers to receive nothing from a class action payout once a litigation funder has received its share. He has called for the sector to be subject to the same regulation as financial services providers.

CORPORATES
AUGUSTA VENTURES, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ADERO LAW