Workplace hitch to PM growth pitch

Original article by Andrew Tillett, Matthew Cranston, John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Apr-19

Council of Small Business Organisations CEO Peter Strong says industrial relations reform will be essential if the federal government is to achieve its goal of creating 250,000 new small businesses over the next five years. Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson says that in addition to workplace reforms, the government must invest in training and take action to reduce power prices. The Institute of Public Affairs adds that action to reduce the red tape burden is also necessary.

CORPORATES
COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS LIMITED, QUANTUM BUSINESS FINANCE PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Room for unions to work with super funds: Combet

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 18-Apr-19

Industry Super Australia chairman Greg Combet says he has no concerns with union officials raising industrial relations issues with trustees of superannuation funds. However, he stresses that trustees must be mindful of their duty to act in the best interest of fund members when considering such issues. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority recent advised that trustees must not be influenced by "sponsoring organisations" in carrying out their duties. Combet has previously been ACTU secretary and a Labor minister.

CORPORATES
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, GLENCORE PLC

CFMEU charges in three states

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 10-Apr-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union is currently the subject of 38 separate court cases launched by the Australian Building & Construction Commission. The militant union has already been fined some $3.29m so far in the 2018-19 financial year. The ABCC’s current cases against the CFMMEU include allegations that it engaged in unlawful industrial action and breached right-of-entry laws at a building site in Victoria. A union official is also alleged to have racially abused a construction site supervisor in Perth. Labor intends to abolish the ABCC if it wins the federal election.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Minimum wage is living wage by UK standard

Original article by David A Harvey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 5-Apr-19

The federal government has used its submission to the Fair Work Commission to argue that the minimum wage is now about 61 per cent of the median wage when the earnings of both full-time and part-time employees are taken into account. This is the benchmark used in the UK to determine that country’s living wage. In contrast, the ACTU wants a living wage to be based on the median earnings of full-time workers. The ACTU is seeking a six per cent increase in the minimum wage in 2018 and a further rise of 5.5 per cent in 2020.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GREAT BRITAIN. LOW PAY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Workers warned over approval to protest

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 8 : 5-Apr-19

ACTU secretary Sally McManus claims that nationwide rallies to be held on 10 April are political protests rather than industrial action. The ACTU hopes the anti-Coalition rallies will attract 250,000 workers. Meanwhile, the Australian Building & Construction Commission has warned that building industry workers risk fines if they take time off work to attend the rallies without written permission from their employer.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, ONESTEEL LIMITED, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Union wants Labor to fix free rider problem

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 28-Mar-19

The National Tertiary Education Union’s industrial relations policy identifies several options for addressing the issue of workers who benefit from enterprise agreements without being a union member. They include requiring non-union members to pay a bargaining agents fee. The NTEU has lobbied Labor to put the issue of so-called "free riders" on its industrial relations agenda. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says bargaining fees are contrary to the right to freedom of association. Such fees have been banned in Australia since 2003.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION INDUSTRY UNION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD

Living wage for 1.2m in Labor pitch

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 26-Mar-19

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has indicated that Labor’s living wage policy would boost the income of low-income earners from mid-2020. Details of the policy will be announced on 26 March, but Shorten has signalled that the living wage will apply only to people on the minimum wage rather than workers who are on award wages. Shorten also says Labor will legislate to require the Fair Work Commission to take into account a broader range of factors than at present in setting the living wage. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox is among the critics of Labor’s living wage policy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU

Employer dissatisfaction with bargaining process rising

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 21-Mar-19

The findings of a survey by law firm Ashurst would appear to support a recent claim by Labor leader Bill Shorten that the enterprise bargaining system is ‘broken’. The survey of 160 companies in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 found that 31 per cent have old enterprise agreements in place, up from 21 per cent in 2017. Likewise, 39 per cent of respondents said it takes 12 months to negotiate a new workplace agreement, compared with 30 per cent previously. Some companies indicated that their enterprise agreement expired more than four years ago.

CORPORATES
ASHURST AUSTRALIA, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Shorten slaps down union super bosses

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 20-Mar-19

The union movement continues to attract scrutiny for using industry superannuation funds to promote its industrial relations agenda. Labor leader Bill Shorten says the legal requirement of super fund trustees to act in the best interests of members overrides any other allegiances they may have. ACTU president Michele O’Neil recently urged super funds to use their influence as investors to ensure that companies offer secure and well-paid jobs. O’Neil is an alternate director on the board of AustralianSuper, which is partly owned by the ACTU.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, TRANSPORT WORKERS’ UNION, TWUSUPER, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, EQUIPSUPER PTY LTD, SUNSUPER PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

Wage rise will cost jobs: retailers

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

Master Grocers Australia has urged the Fair Work Commission to limit the 2019 increase in the minimum wage to 1.2 per cent, which equates to $8.60 a week. It warns that a large increase in the minimum wage would force independent retailers to cut staff numbers or allocate more shifts to junior employees. The ACTU is pushing for the minimum wage to be increased by $43 a week, while the Victorian and Queensland governments have called for it to be increased by $40.66 and $25 a week respectively.

CORPORATES
MASTER GROCERS’ AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, IGA, FOODWORKS SUPERMARKET GROUP LIMITED, CELLARBRATIONS, THE BOTTLE-O, DUNCAN’S LIQUOR