Unions lean on ALP over super choice bill

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 7-Feb-20

The union movement is urging Labor to vote against proposed legislation that would ban enterprise agreements from stating that workers must join a union-backed superannuation fund. Labor senator Tony Sheldon recently warned the party’s caucus against voting for the bill, while ACTU assistant secretary Scott Connolly says the proposed legislation would have a major impact on industry funds such as UniSuper.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, UNISUPER LIMITED

Employers push for Fair Work review

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 3-Feb-20

The Australian Mines & Metals Association has called for a review of the Fair Work Commission, as well as the appointment of seven new commissioners over the next year. AMMA CEO Steve Knott has outlined a number of concerns about the FWC in a letter to Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter. They include the lengthy delays in approving workplace agreements and claims that the allocation of full bench cases tends to favour Labor appointees.

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

FWC ruling a win for casual workers

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 24-Jan-20

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission has ruled that a casual sales assistant at Bed Bath N’ Table is entitled to pursue an unfair dismissal claim against the retailer. FWC deputy president Amanda Man­sini had previously ruled that the employee was not covered by unfair dismissal laws, as her employment was not regular and systematic. However, the full bench rejected Mansini’s reasoning and ruled that the case can proceed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, BED BATH AND TABLE

High Court to hear sick leave appeal

Original article by Michael Pelly
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 10-Jan-20

The High Court has granted Mondelez International special leave to appeal against a 2019 Full Federal Court ruling in regard to the payment of sick leave to workers at its Cadbury plant in Tasmania. Amanda Banfield, Mondelez’s president for Australia and New Zealand, had stated that the Federal Court’s ruling meant that employees working the same hours on different rosters would be eligible for different leave amounts. Mondelez’s appeal has the backing of the federal government.

CORPORATES
MONDELEZ AUSTRALIA (FOODS) LIMITED, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, CADBURY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Union pushes to overturn BHP’s Fair Work win on enterprise deals

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 9-Jan-20

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union is appealing the Fair Work Commission’s decision to approve two enterprise agreements covering employees of BHP’s Operations Services division. The bulk of these workers are employed at BHP’s coal mines in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, and the CFMEU contends that they should be covered by the enterprise agreement for the miner’s other workers in the basin. The CFMEU argues that these workers earn up to $40,000 a year more than the Operations Services employees.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Unions call for more government assistance for workers in fire-hit areas

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Age – Page: Online : 8-Jan-20

The federal government’s Disaster Recovery Allowance provides people who have been directly affected by the bushfires to receive up to 13 weeks of income support. However, the United Workers Union’s Helen Gibbons contends that this will be insufficient for many bushfire victims, adding that casual workers in particular will be hard hit by loss of income due to the fires. Retail & Fast Food Workers Union secretary Josh Cullinan notes that many casual workers are reluctant to stay at home despite feeling sick from smoke haze and heat from the bushfires.

CORPORATES
UNITED WORKERS UNION, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, ACTU, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Employers drop bid for new permaflexi work category

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

The NSW Business Chamber and its legal arm, Australian Business Industrial, have abandoned a push for the Fair Work Commission to recognise a new category of employment. So-called ‘permaflexi’ workers would have been paid a 10 per cent loading in exchange for flexible rostering. The proposal was put forward in response to the Workpac case, in which the Federal Court ruled that casual workers are entitled to annual leave in addition to a casual loading. The permaflexi proposal may be revived if the federal government does not take legislative action in response to the Workpac case.

CORPORATES
NSW BUSINESS CHAMBER LIMITED

Christmas pain as Jetstar faces further strikes

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 16-Dec-19

The Transport Workers’ Union’s national secretary Michael Kaine says passengers of budget airline Jetstar can expect further industrial action in the lead-up to Christmas. Jetstar pilots walked off the job on the weekend of 14-15 December, resulting in nearly 100 flights being cancelled. Jetstar is offering an annual pay rise of three per cent, but CEO Gareth Evans says the wage claim equates to an increase of 15 per cent. Jetstar’s ground crew and baggage handlers will impose work stoppages on 19 December.

CORPORATES
JETSTAR AIRLINES PTY LTD, TRANSPORT WORKERS’ UNION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION OF AIR PILOTS

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)